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Will Pre-existing Conditions Affect My Auto Accident Settlement?

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According to a recent news article, Texas ranked third in the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2018. Also, a significant number of Americans suffer from aches, pains, and medical conditions that could significantly affect their car accident claim.

However, having pre-existing medical conditions does not exempt a negligent from incurring liabilities. A competent Houston car accident attorney will explain your legal options and make sure you are not unfairly denied compensation.

The eggshell skull rule

Also referred to as the thin skin rule, this is a principle that states that the sensitivity, frailty, weakness, or susceptibility of a victim to an injury due to a pre-existing medical condition does not exempt them from receiving a full settlement. Such victims are eligible for compensation if they prove that the pre-existing condition got worse.

Common pre-existing conditions that are made worse by an accident

While there are quite a number of pre-existing conditions, there are a few that are usually aggravated by an accident. These include:

  • Back problems – the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) estimates that at any given time about 31 million Americans suffer from back pain. This could be caused by such issues as degenerative disk disease or arthritis. Such conditions could be exacerbated by auto accidents resulting in unbearable pain which could have otherwise been manageable.
  • Neck injuries – if you had suffered a neck injury from whiplash in a previous accident, the current one may make it worse.
  • Brain injuries – persons who may have recently suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are prone to a serious or even fatal re-injuries. For example, symptoms such as dizziness and minor headaches might worsen and result in memory loss, seizures, or mobility issues.

In any of these scenarios, the negligent party is responsible for aggravating these conditions. It is important that you discuss all your pre-existing medical conditions with a competent Houston car accident attorney even if you think they are minor or irrelevant to your claim. This allows your personal injury lawyer to prepare a suitable legal strategy. Lack of disclosure could easily make you lose credibility in a settlement claim or a lawsuit.

How does a personal injury attorney help?

Depending on the type of injury, an insurance company may use a pre-existing condition to lower or eliminate the compensation you fairly deserve. This is one of the reasons why you need the services of a skilled Houston car accident attorney. At SMS legal, we have over 45 years of experience in dealing with all kinds of personal injury cases. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you on your legal options. We will make sure you get the compensation you deserve in spite of pre-existing conditions.

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