How a Pre-existing Condition Can Complicate Your Personal Injury Case

Posted by April Picozzi | Jul 08, 2021 | 0 Comments

Nobody ever plans an accident that results in an injury. Whether your injury stems from a motor vehicle accident, a job site, or a defective product, pre-existing conditions can complicate your personal injury case. A pre-existing condition is any health condition that you have before your accident, such as migraines, herniated discs, or anxiety. Often, insurance companies will look for reasons to deny a claim. Although a pre-existing condition doesn't disqualify you from filing a claim, it can make reaching a resolution harder. The good news is that a qualified Rhode Island personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the challenges.

What Is an Eggshell Plaintiff?

The idea of an eggshell plaintiff is key to your case if you have a pre-existing condition. It states that the court must take you as you are, when determining the defendant's liability, and subsequently, the defendant is still liable for all of the damages you sustained. Insurance companies will attempt to use your pre-existing condition to show that your pre-existing condition might have worsened even without the accident.

Pre-existing Conditions that Could Worsen

When you're involved in an accident, pre-existing conditions, especially if they are degenerative, can worsen, especially at a faster rate if the injury exacerbates the condition. Some examples of common pre-existing conditions:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative back problems, such as herniated or bulging discs
  • Broken bones that have since healed

Steps You Can Take

There are some clear steps you can take to protect your personal injury claim if you have a pre-existing condition. A Rhode Island personal injury attorney can advise you on these and other actions to take, but here are a few to get you started.

  • Tell your attorney everything
    If you have a pre-existing condition, you must be honest with your attorney about the extent of your situation. Tell your attorney about your pre-existing condition; If you don't, the chances are higher that your claim will be denied.
  • Don't sign medical authorizations
    Although an insurance company may ask for access to your medical records, you should protect your personal data and refuse to sign this request. Anything they uncover may be used to deny your claim.

A Rhode Island attorney who is familiar with personal injury claims will have the necessary knowledge to advocate for you, even with a pre-existing condition. With more than 125 years of collective experience, Inman & Tourgee is here to handle all the legal issues of your personal injury case. Call us today at (401) 823-9200 or contact us online.

About the Author

April Picozzi

PUBLIC ADJUSTER / OPERATIONS & FINANCE MANAGER April M. Picozzi joined the firm in 2013 as a licensed Independent Adjuster and legal assistant to Mark D. Tourgee, Esq. She handles all aspects of personal injury claims including client intake, maintaining client files, negotiating settlements and assi...


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