Can I File a Personal Injury Claim with a Pre-Existing Condition?

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Victims of accidents can still file a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition. Personal injury lawsuits, such as auto accidents, construction accidents, and medical malpractice, involve an intense factual investigation into the circumstances of the incident and the injuries sustained as a result of the incident. The plaintiff in a personal injury accident will be required to disclose detailed medical information in order to prove the injuries that he or she sustained in the personal injury accident. Though pre-existing medical conditions are common in accident victims, they can be misunderstood in terms of how they impact personal injury settlements. This may lead accident victims to wonder whether they can file a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition.

Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits are also required to disclose pre-existing medical conditions as part of the discovery process of a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, the failure to disclose or admit a pre-existing medical condition can adversely affect the plaintiff’s ability to recover in a personal injury lawsuit, and the concealment of a pre-existing medical condition may even result in sanctions or the dismissal of the lawsuit.

What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?

pre-existing medical condition refers to those medical conditions, injuries, or disabilities that existed prior to the injuries sustained in the personal injury accident. Pre-existing medical conditions are frequently the source of much debate in a personal injury lawsuit. Often, they are debated as factors that influence a victim’s vulnerability to sustaining serious injuries in an accident.

It is important to be upfront about pre-existing medical conditions, since the defendant and any insurance companies involved will conduct their own investigation and medical examinations in connection with the personal injury claim. Oftentimes, the opposing insurance company or defendant will request medical records dating several years back, so pre-existing medical conditions will be revealed at some point. It is better for claimants to be proactive about their disclosure so that they can be presented accurately.

Common Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions can take the form of a variety of ailments and injuries. Some of the more common types of pre-existing medical conditions are:

  • Injuries sustained from a previous, unrelated accident
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Injuries that did not heal properly or are still in the process of healing
  • Medical conditions that reappear when under stress, such as asthma, seizure, or epilepsy

What Damages Are Recoverable In a Personal Injury Claim with a Pre-Existing Condition?

Victims with pre-existing conditions filing personal injury lawsuits can recover the same costs as other claimants. These costs include costs for initial medical treatment, long term care expenses, prescription medication and medical equipment costs, and rehabilitative care costs. Additionally, victims can recover lost wages, lost earning capacity, future lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Will a Pre-existing Medical Condition Affect My Recovery?

A pre-existing medical condition does not prevent a person from recovering damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but it may be more difficult to prove those injuries that were the result of the personal injury accident and those injuries that were part of a pre-existing medical condition.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it is important to discuss them with your personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  The experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law are well-versed in handling all types of personal injury lawsuits, and the complexities involved with personal injury claims.

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