Getting into a car collision hurts, and many accident victims may note that aside from their new injuries, their previous injuries or medical conditions — called preexisting conditions — worsen after the wreck.
How Pre-Existing Injuries Affect Your Washington Car Accident Claim
New complications to existing injuries can make your recovery after a collision much more complicated. A discussion with your attending Doctor can explain more about the situation. Common medical conditions that the collision can exacerbate include:
- Muscle hernias
- Herniated or slipped discs in the spine
- Lumbar strain
- Knee, shoulder, or other joint injuries
- Traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Previously fractured bones
Many car accident victims may hesitate to file a claim for damages because they fear their preexisting condition would disqualify them from medical treatment for their new injury.
Washington Car Accident Law Protects Victims with Pre-Existing Conditions
The “eggshell rule,” part of Washington car accident law, allows car accident victims to file suit if the collision caused their medical condition to worsen. Victims may seek compensatory damages for their medical care and pain and suffering from the at-fault driver.
Insurance companies appraise the victim’s condition after the crash and compare it to the victim’s condition before the crash. Additional compensation to treat further injuries is possible if there is a discernible worsening of the victim’s condition.
The following conditions must be met in order for a car accident victim to qualify for coverage:
- The pre-existing condition was stable before the collision
- There was no indication that your condition would worsen
- Your pre-existing condition made you more susceptible to injury
You may need to have a specialist physician examine you after the collision and provide records from your treating physician for your initial injury. Insurance companies may take any excuse possible to deny or minimize your valid claim, so carefully follow the advice of your personal injury lawyer.
For example, the other driver’s insurance company may argue that your injury was not affected by the crash or that your condition was unstable or deteriorating before the crash — that is, the impact of the collision did not make your condition worse.
Never try to negotiate with the insurance company alone; your lawyer will protect your interests and defend your rights.
Do You Need Representation After a Washington Car Collision?
If your preexisting injury was worsened by a car collision you didn’t cause, the Harlan Law legal team may be able to help you file a claim.