Starting from when you were a toddler, you have likely had many injuries ranging from minor to severe over the course of your lifetime. Statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that more than 50 million people seek emergency treatment or care from a physician for accidental injuries. These will be part of the long-gone past in most cases, but some prior injuries could impact your rights if you were hurt in an accident.
There are countless reasons an insurance company may claim to deny payment in an accident case, and one of them is pre-existing injuries. The insurer’s strategy might work if you do not have legal representation, so make sure to retain a Miami personal injury attorney right away. You want to leverage the best possible strategies to counter the insurance company and get the compensation you deserve.
Pre-Existing Injuries in Accident Claims
As you have recovered from injuries in the past, you know that it is possible to re-injure yourself through strenuous activity. Accidents have the same effect on your condition. The impact forces extreme violence and trauma on a part of your body that was already weakened.
When an insurance company raises the issue of pre-existing conditions, it is usually to deny your claim based on fault and causation. The theory is that the policyholder did not cause the injury because it was the result of a past incident.
Examples of Pre-Existing Conditions
Many types of prior injuries could be exacerbated by a personal injury accident years after the initial trauma. For instance:
- If you broke a bone as a child, the fracture will never fully return to its intact state. The bone is vulnerable to a blow in the same spot.
- Soft tissue injuries are common in accidents, making the victim sensitive to future trauma.
- An incomplete spinal cord injury still allows for some movement, sensation, and function below the affected area. If the victim sustains trauma again, the condition may become a complete spinal cord injury.
Opportunities to Address Prior Injuries
An insurance company may not issue a flat-out denial of your claim, so there may be options to settle despite a pre-existing condition. The insurer will likely offer a lower amount under the circumstances, but you might consider settlement when you know the risks of taking the case to trial. Another opportunity to address pre-existing injuries is in mediation, which is a structured approach to settlement guided by a trained mediator. If mediation is not successful, you can still take your case to court.
A Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Will Help with Challenges
Having a pre-existing injury could create problems for your accident claim, but you can overcome these pitfalls with help from an attorney. For more information on strategy in your case, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can reach our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL, by calling (305) 371-6000 or going online. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation with a Florida personal injury attorney who will explain the laws.