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Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Your Personal Injury Claim

Law Office of Steven R. Smith May 24, 2024

In New York, a large factor that often comes to question in personal injury claims is the presence of any pre-existing conditions the claimant may have before the accident.  

This aspect has the control to significantly influence the outcome of your claim. Recognizing how pre-existing conditions are viewed and assessed in the legal framework is essential for anyone looking to secure fair compensation. 

That's why at the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, I will gladly assess your specific situation and advise you of your options while catering to your needs.  

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions in Injury Lawsuits 

In personal injury law, pre-existing conditions pertain to any medical ailments or injuries that existed prior to the incident in question. Conditions such as previous fractures, heart disease, or even mental health issues are pertinent examples.  

These are especially significant because they introduce complexity in establishing that the injuries incurred are a direct result of the recent accident, rather than an exacerbation of pre-existing issues. It becomes difficult to differentiate the aggravation of these conditions from injuries that are entirely new. 

The legal handling of pre-existing conditions needs to be delicate. The law mandates a nuanced assessment of how an accident affects these prior conditions. This process entails a comprehensive examination of all medical documentation related to the claimant's health, pre- and post-accident. The primary objective here is to accurately segregate the symptoms and impairments caused by the accident from those resulting from pre-existing conditions.  

A pivotal principle in personal injury law that significantly influences cases with pre-existing conditions is known as the "eggshell rule". This doctrine asserts that a defendant must take a claimant as they find them, which means if the claimant has a pre-existing condition that makes them more susceptible to injury, the defendant cannot reduce their liability on the basis of that increased vulnerability. 

In essence, if an accident exacerbates a pre-existing condition, the at-fault party is responsible for the full extent of the harm caused, regardless of the claimant's prior fragility or health status.  

My firm, committed to fighting for the rights of the injured, places great emphasis on ensuring this distinction is clearly made and justly articulated. 

How Pre-Existing Conditions Influence Your Personal Injury Claim 

The presence of a pre-existing condition can significantly impact the valuation of your personal injury claim. It is recognized within New York law that an accident can exacerbate a pre-existing condition, potentially complicating your claim.  

Insurance companies might leverage your medical history to suggest that your current afflictions stem primarily from these prior conditions, rather than the incident itself. They could also argue that the accident only slightly aggravated a pre-existing condition.  

My role is to disprove such claims by procuring and presenting indisputable medical evidence that distinguishes your condition post-accident from any pre-accident status. 

A rigorous examination of medical records, sometimes supplemented by expert testimony from healthcare providers, is fundamental to our approach.  

I have the resources to gather information to demonstrate that, while pre-existing conditions existed, the accident has inflicted novel harm or significantly worsened your condition. 

Legal Hurdles and Pre-Existing Conditions 

Clarifying the distinction between injuries or conditions pre-dating the accident and those caused by the accident is crucial. For instance, if an old back injury that was under control markedly deteriorated following a vehicle collision, it is critical to demonstrate this escalation.  

In New York, proving that the injuries sustained are distinct and more severe compared to any pre-existing conditions demands incontrovertible evidence.  

I can engage with medical professionals extensively to procure detailed medical records, diagnostic outcomes, and expert evaluations that form the backbone of a compelling case, accurately reflecting the gravity of your post-accident injuries. 

Medical Evaluation in Personal Injury Cases Involving Pre-Existing Conditions 

The weight of medical expert testimony in cases combined with pre-existing conditions cannot be overstated. Healthcare professionals' insights into the nature and extent of your injuries post-accident play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of your claim.  

Collaborating with medical authorities enables our attorneys to present a coherent, objective view of how the accident has intensified your pre-existing condition, amplifying your pain, suffering, or functional limitations. 

Incorporating authoritative medical analysis into your legal strategy is a critical facet of our method. It ensures that the presented testimonies corroborate the factual basis of your claim, bolstering the argument that the accident has detrimentally impacted your pre-existing condition. 

Maximizing Compensation in Pre-Existing Conditions 

Deploying strategic legal guidance to secure just compensation, especially when confronting pre-existing conditions, is a main priority at my firm. Effectively negotiating with insurance companies necessitates profound legal acumen and the capacity to refute their attempts to diminish the value of your claim.  

I can provide a proactive stance, crafting a robust case using solid evidence that emphasizes the aggravation of your pre-existing condition due to the accident. 

Preparation for litigation forms an integral element of our strategic planning. Although my aim is to achieve an amicable settlement out of court, I am fully prepared to escalate the matter to trial if it serves your best interest. 

Fight for the Compensation You Deserve  

If you're facing a personal injury case in New York and are concerned about how your pre-existing conditions might affect the outcome, contact the Law Office of Steven R. Smith. I possess a comprehensive understanding of New York’s legal intricacies and am dedicated to defending your rights steadfastly. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation. I proudly serve clients in New York, Long Island, and throughout Hempstead, Westbury, Mineola, and New Hyde Park.