A car accident can cause a person to experience serious, chronic, or permanent injury. Spinal cord injuries, for instance, are common car accident injuries. However, if a person had a preexisting condition before the accident, there could be a problem with their claim.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. Thus, if you were injured in a car accident, you can receive compensation for out-of-pocket expenses no matter who is at fault, and you can be compensated up to the limits described in the policy. If you choose full tort instead of limited tort, you will be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages as well.
A person who exceeds the limits of an insurance policy is able to file a lawsuit. Pennsylvania follows the legal principle of modified comparative negligence, which means that plaintiffs are eligible to receive damages even if they are partially at fault.
The amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff will be lowered by their percentage of fault. Thus, if the plaintiff is found to be 45 percent at fault, the amount the plaintiff will receive is 55 percent of the award. A plaintiff can only receive damages if they are less than 51 percent at fault.
Unfortunately, all of this could be negated if a preexisting condition does not meet certain conditions.
Insurance companies are usually going to be reluctant to pay out money for an injury that is a repeat of one that had already existed. Even though a preexisting injury could have been manageable or even healed prior to the accident, an insurance company is likely to say that the new injury is the same as the old one.
The same might be true in a lawsuit. Claiming that an accident worsened or flared up an old injury can cause doubt. It is more difficult to prove that a preexisting injury was worsened in a car accident, but it is not impossible. For this reason, it is critical to have a lawyer in this situation
Compensation for a Car Accident Injury
It is important that you do not attempt to hide the preexisting condition. If it is discovered that your injury is closely related to a preexisting condition and you never disclosed your condition, your credibility is lost. You must be forthright about your injury. Wanting to claim damages for a preexisting condition made worse by a car accident is legitimate.
Remember that an insurance company or defense lawyer is going to insist on medical records to prove that the injury had already existed before the accident. As a result, you need to show medical evidence. An example would be if the preexisting condition was a slipped disc that was healed over time. As a result of the accident, the slipped disc was reinjured, with possibly more damage done, such as a damaged vertebra. Your lawyer can help you prove that your preexisting condition was worsened by a car accident.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Car Accident Clients With Preexisting Conditions
If your preexisting condition has worsened because of a negligent driver, contact one of our seasoned Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation today. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients across Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.