There’s never a good time to be involved in a car accident. This is especially true if you are already suffering from a medical condition or some other injury. A crash can make these issues worse, and it also can make it more difficult to recover compensation to address the new or increasing symptoms. However, accident victims have rights, and if another person’s negligence causes injuries or exacerbates medical problems, he can be held accountable.
Your Pre-Existing Condition Is Not a Defense for the at-Fault Driver
Under Alabama law, at-fault drivers must take the injured parties “as they find them.” This is known as the eggshell plaintiff rule, and it means the at-fault driver cannot assert that the injury victim should have been stronger or healthier. A person with neck pain, for example, may be more prone to further neck injury, or a passenger with a degenerative bone disease may more easily experience a bone fracture. Even if the average, healthy person would not have suffered a similar injury, the driver who caused the crash is still liable for any injuries or worsening of other conditions directly related to the accident.
Insurance Companies and Pre-Existing Conditions
While the at-fault driver can be held accountable, it’s likely that his insurance company will not make it easy. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to save money, and placing blame for a victim’s injuries elsewhere is a common tactic. Insurance companies will aggressively pursue your medical records and attempt to tie your pain and injury to your pre-existing condition, rather than the accident.
For this reason, it’s especially important to seek medical care as soon as possible, and be very specific with your doctor about your symptoms. To obtain compensation for the new or worsening injuries, those symptoms must be clearly related to the accident. Medical records, bills, and provider testimony will provide crucial support for your claim
An Experienced Alabama Attorney May Be Able to Help
Insurance companies and at-fault drivers are likely to dispute a victim’s claims after any car accident, but this is especially common for those with a pre-existing condition. Victims who are already suffering from an injury or illness are particularly vulnerable to these attacks, and it is important that they take all the steps possible to protect their rights. At Lattof & Lattof, PC, our experienced legal team has helped accident victims with pre-existing conditions obtain the compensation they deserve. Our lawyers can provide the documents and testimony to support your claim of new or worsening injuries directly related to your accident. We can act as a voice and a negotiator when insurance companies try to diminish your claim. Call our Mobile office today, or fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch with a member of our team who can answer your questions and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.