How Pre-Existing Conditions May Affect Your Injury Claim

When it comes to personal injury claims, the premise is to get the claimant back to the physical condition that he or she was in prior to the injury. But in most cases, injury victims may not be in flawless health to begin with. Most people deal with some form of health concerns at points throughout their lives.

Although compensation is not due for those conditions which existed prior to the accident, you are due compensation for injuries sustained in the accident. So what impact will any pre-existing condition have on your injury claim and the compensation you are awarded?

A Very Valid Concern

There is a very valid concern when it comes to pre-existing conditions, particularly if the accident has made it worse. The compensation you are awarded will be dependent on establishing the severity of the condition, how it affected you prior to the accident, and how it has affected you after the accident. Although this sounds simple, it can be fairly complicated.

“Thin Skull Rule”

As a claimant or plaintiff, you can be certain that the insurance company or defense lawyers will look closely at your medical records prior to the accident. Fortunately, there is a legal concept that protects you. This is called the eggshell rule or thin skull rule. It requires that a victim must not have a pre-existing condition, a predisposition, or a vulnerability held against him or her during a personal injury claim or case.

The name comes from a hypothetical case where an injury occurs to someone whose skull was as thin as an eggshell. The defendant is still liable for damages even though the condition played a role in the injuries.

That being said, if your pre-existing condition was made worse by an accident, the defendant will only be liable for damages to the extent to which the condition was aggravated. In other words, your compensation will be less than if you had no pre-existing condition at all.

Insurance Companies and Pre-Existing Conditions

Another way a pre-existing condition may work against you would be if the insurance company suggested that your injuries were not due to the accident but due to your condition. Because insurance companies look for ways to lessen their financial burden by downplaying injuries, it will then be important for you to have your medical records comprehensively showing that this is not the case.

Call a Legal Professional

In any claim where your pre-existing condition has been a point of contention, you will want a Medicine Hat personal injury lawyer representing you. The injury lawyers at BPCAB Personal Injury Lawyer have decades of experience representing injury victims throughout Alberta. Don’t go through this time alone. Call us for a free consultation if you have been injured in an accident.