Can a Pre-existing Condition Affect My Personal Injury Claim? 1 Big Way Proving Negligence Could Halt the Process

July 6, 2023

Can a Pre-existing Condition Affect My Personal Injury Claim? 1 Big Way Proving Negligence Could Halt the Process

A pre-existing condition can greatly affect a claim

50 to 129 million non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing condition related to their health, according to a study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  

A pre-existing condition is a health concern you have that began before the start of something, generally a health care coverage period. 

The list of pre-existing conditions may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Asthma
  • Epilepsy

A pre-existing condition may also be in reference to a health issue you have prior to a personal injury, such as a car accident. Having a pre-existing condition can affect a personal injury claim in a variety of ways. 

While you may not be eligible to receive compensation for injuries that existed prior to an accident, you may be able to recover compensation for injuries made worse from an accident.

For example, Theresa had neck surgery after a cycling accident several years ago. One night, she is hit by a drunk driver and her neck jolt, reaggravating the injury.

While Theresa may not be able to seek damages for her previous neck surgery, she can hold the drunk driver liable for injuries caused after the neck injury returned. It’s almost as if it is a new injury.

Oftentimes, insurance companies will try pointing to the pre-existing condition as a cause to an injury, negating facts as an attempt to decrease your potential gain. This is especially true in workers’ compensation cases.

For a successful workers’ comp case involving a pre-existing condition, the injured party must prove that their work activity caused the injury by making the condition worse.

diabetes is a common pre-existing condition

Let’s say Marshall, a diabetic man, works an extremely stressful job with long hours.  He rarely takes his lunch, or even breaks, due to pressure from upper-management.

His blood sugar is constantly fluctuating. One day, he collapses due to low-blood sugar and bangs his head against his desk.

Marshall may be able to claim that his pre-existing condition of diabetes was exacerbated by the lack of breaks and stress. He could then have medical bills covered for injuries related to this specific incident, not any bills related to diabetes from before this happened.

It’s a very rare occurrence that someone doesn’t have some kind of pre-existing condition prior to their personal injury accident.  Whether or not this pre-existing condition played a role in the accident, or was greatly affected due to the incident, is an important key. 

A possible ground for denial and difficulty proving negligence is if the victim is actually the negligent one.

Imagine a situation where Thomas, a retail store manager, has hypertension. He’s prescribed medication to help lower his blood-pressure, but he chooses not to take it, nor does he diet or exercise per his doctor’s request.

Under intense stress one day during the holiday season, Thomas suffers a heart attack. In this situation, if the insurance company or his place of employment learned he wasn’t following his physician’s orders, it would be harder for him to make a claim.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to hire a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for your damages. 

At C&B Law Group, our team of Southern California attorneys is prepared to help you if you are being denied a claim due to a pre-existing condition. 

We’re familiar with the tricks insurance companies will pull to save every penny they can.

You shouldn’t have to suffer through physical pain and financial setbacks because of a pre-existing condition. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are ready to work with you to recover the compensation you deserve. 

With offices in Downtown Los Angeles and Burbank, we are available to answer questions you have about a potential case.

You can contact us today and receive a free consultation.

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Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today by filling out the form below, or call us at (866) 747-7333

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