Accidents occur in Texas every day. In fact, TxDOT reports an accident occurring every two minutes that results in an injury. This means that almost 90K people are seriously hurt in Texas car accidents every year.
If you are involved in a car accident, the most important first step is to get medical treatment for any injuries you sustained.
It is also a good idea to retain the services of a personal injury attorney if the accident was caused by someone else. Our team at the Burkett Law Firm can help ensure that even with a pre-existing condition, you receive the compensation you are due for your accident-related injuries. The negligent driver is responsible for your accident and should pay your medical costs in these situations.
While this is true, there could be compensation amounts and liability questions if you had a medical condition or pre-existing injury before the accident. Understanding how these issues may impact your personal injury claim can be beneficial.
Pre-Existing Conditions Defined
Pre-existing injuries or conditions are ones you had before the accident. If you have one of these, it means a certain part of your body has already been injured. During the accident, you may have hurt it or re-injured it.
It’s worth noting that you can’t receive compensation for the accident just because you have this pre-existing injury. In some cases, your condition may have been worsened because of your accident.
Filing a personal injury claim in Texas includes situations where existing injuries are made worse or aggravated by the accident. Just because you have a former injury, it doesn’t mean that an experienced personal injury attorney can’t help with your case.
The Importance of Telling Your Lawyer about Your Pre-Existing Condition
An important thing you should do as an accident victim is to disclose prior injuries or conditions to your personal injury attorney and your doctor. If you are upfront about this, your lawyer will know how to proceed to ensure you still receive compensation for the injuries you suffered due to the accident.
In many situations. Accident victims believe that if they disclose about a prior injury, they won’t receive the compensation needed to recover. However, if you don’t tell your lawyer about this, it will likely hurt your claim down the road. In fact, everything that your lawyer does not know about your case and situation will likely make things worse.
It’s good to let your treating doctor know about any prior injuries or conditions when you are asked. Your doctor can then note what injuries and damages the accident caused. Also, be sure to let your attorney know about all prior injuries and claims, even if they aren’t related to your current injury.
Avoid Signing Medical Release Forms Without Talking to Your Attorney
Insurance adjusters may send you medical release forms, requesting that you sign them. These are used to obtain your medical records. However, the authorization that these forms provide is often too broad and allows the insurance company to access your records from all the way back when you were born.
If you receive this type of overly broad medical release, you should reject it because it is irrelevant. Injuries that occurred several decades ago are not relevant to your existing situation. While this is true, you still need to let your attorney know about all your pre-existing conditions.
Getting to Know the Eggshell Doctrine
Texas has something called the “Eggshell Skull Doctrine.” It is sometimes called the “Thin Skull Rule.” This rule reads that a negligent party must take the injury victim as they are found. If you are the victim, it means that you have the right to receive compensation for any injuries that occurred because of someone else’s negligence.
If you are a personal injury victim in the state of Texas, you may be able to receive compensation after an accident if the pre-existing injury stabilized before the accident or if there wasn’t an indication that the condition would get worse before the accident occurred.
Put simply; you should receive compensation for any additional injuries or if an existing injury was aggravated because of the actions of the negligent party.
Taking the Right Steps After an Accident if You Had a Prior Injury
If you suffered an injury in a trucking or car accident, be sure to get medical care right away. Once you have done this, contact our personal injury attorneys.
It’s important to document the fact that your prior injury was completely healed or that it was not a bother before the accident occurred. In some situations, your doctor can compare tests from the prior incident and new injury to show how it was made worse by the accident.
You could simplify the situation by thinking about it like this – if the accident had not occurred, would you still require this medical treatment? Or would the pre-existing condition need treatment?
Handling an Insurance Adjust Who Denies Your Injuries Were Caused by the Accident
Some insurance adjusters will attempt to “disallow” legitimate medical expenses they should cover. Usually, the excuse is that the bills are unnecessary or unrelated to the injury caused by the collision.
You shouldn’t worry too much about these tactics, as they are used all the time by insurance adjusters against individuals who are trying to prove their claim without an experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorney.
One of the best things you can do after being injured in a car accident in Texas is to get in touch with our law firm. Our team can review your case, even if it involves a pre-existing condition or illness, and help you get the compensation you deserve.