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Does an existing condition or drug abuse affect your personal injury claim?
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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

When we talk about personal injury claims, there are many people who are injured in an accident and are already dealing with a condition or injury to their body. This condition is referred to as “pre-existing condition." Examples of common pre-existing conditions could be back pain, neck pain or any other aches or pains.

So when the question arises whether a pre-existing condition on you records affect your personal injury claim? The answer is: it depends.

At a point during the legal process, the lawyer of the defense might request you to present the documents that include the injured person’s medical records. The experts of the insurance companies then review these medical records for both the instances, i.e. the current accident and the previous injury.

Sometimes, in order to assert that no money should be pain on the claim, they might start to argue that the losses being claimed in the new accident are just the continuation of the pre existing conditions.

Whether a pre-existing condition will affect your current claim for personal injury depends on your particular case. Pre-existing conditions sometimes have little or no impact on the new personal injury claims, however, in other conditions they might have a severe impact. The defense might try their best to use your pre-existing conditions to minimize or completely eliminate their liabilities.

For example, if your pre-existing conditions did not cause you any inconvenience or discomfort before an accident, then the driver at fault should be held accountable for the injuries you sustained. On the other hand, if the pre-existing condition did cause you discomfort before the accident, then the driver would be only responsible to the extent that accident aggravated your situation.

On the other hand, drug abuse is more likely to make your case more complicated, and your history of drug abuse will make your case weaker in front of the jury. Hence, this will negatively affect your personal injury claim. Defense might also argue that your drug abuse was the reason you ended up in the situation (of an accident). This would potentially lower your value and weaken your stance in the case or might as well negate it entirely. While you may like to believe that your drug abuse played no part in the accident, you cannot stop the jury or counsel to believe that it was.

If you have a pre-existing condition or drug abuse history on your medical records, and you are in a personal injury situation, you should entirely disclose this matter to your attorney with willingness and honesty. This becomes more important if the new injuries affect the same areas of the body as the previous ones. Being truthful and honest about your pre-existing condition and drug abuse history will put you in a better position by establishing your credibility.

If you think you need help with personal injury claims, get in touch with us.


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