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Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Car Accident Claim?

Male Doctor Writing On Medical Document

Were you hurt in a car accident that made a pre-existing condition worse? Many victims wonder if such a scenario will affect their claim or if the insurance company can flat out deny their claim if they are suffering from a pre-existing condition.

Here is what you should know about your car accident claim and how you can get compensation for the added damages you are suffering from.

Defining Pre-Existing Conditions

As a general rule, insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions in case of an accident. This means that you can’t pursue a claim for injuries, pain or other damage that was likely caused by something else, before the accident.

Not many of us are in top shape when it comes to their health. Many people have certain conditions that may affect a personal injury claim in case of an accident. These conditions include injuries you are still recovering from, chronic illnesses, mental disorders or degenerative diseases.

Exacerbation or Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

Although some personal injury cases are very complicated and seem to add overwhelming stress on a victim’s life, the general rules that apply when establishing a settlement amount are based on hard evidence and causality.

Fortunately, in Missouri, you will generally get compensation from the at-fault driver, even if you have contributed to the causes of the accident. As long as you can demonstrate that the condition you already had was directly aggravated by the car accident you were in, the difference between your health before the accident and now will be taken into consideration as accident damage.

If it’s shown that your condition would’ve worsened regardless of the accident, it might not be covered by the insurance company.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Rule

Also known as the “thin skull” or “eggshell skull” rule, this legal principle states that the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the damage you have suffered because of the accident, regardless of your health at the time. In other words, no matter how fragile you are at the time of the accident, if it inflicts additional damage and suffering on you, the at-fault driver should compensate you for it.

The conclusion is quite simple: no insurance company can rightfully deny your claim if your condition was aggravated by the car accident. As long as you can prove the direct causality between the car accident and the worsening of your pre-existing conditions, you are entitled to receive compensation.

If you are unsure how your personal claim should be handled and what is the process of gathering evidence to support your claim, filing your claim and demanding your rights, speak with an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney, who can guide you through every step. Your attorney and your doctor are your main allies in this process, so make sure to trust and follow their recommendations closely.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: February 27, 2020