Aggravation of Pre-Existing Medical Condition
When someone is injured in an accident and files a personal injury claim, the first thing an insurance investigator will look for is the victim’s pre-existing conditions. Generally, an injury victim is not entitled to compensation for a pre-existing condition. However, an accident victim’s pre-existing condition can become worse or aggravated by an accident. So, is it possible to receive compensation for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition?
The Victim and the Insurance Company Have Opposing Points of View
From the insurance company’s point of view, the victim already had a condition before the accident, so no injury occurred. The pain and symptoms they claim to be experiencing are due to the pre-existing condition. Most insurance companies seek to pay as little as possible for injury claims. They will investigate your medical history to find any evidence to back their claim that the accident did not cause any change in your health.
From the victim’s point of view, although they did have a pre-existing condition or injury, the accident made it much worse, and they now require new treatment.
A Pre-Existing Condition Makes Proving Aggravation Critical
Someone with a pre-existing condition likely has an extensive medical history, though it’s possible that they don’t have much of a medical history if they haven’t sought out treatment for the condition. Consider the following circumstances and why it’s so important to show aggravation:
- You had a pre-existing condition but did not receive treatment for it. The accident aggravated the injury, so now you must seek treatment for it. Your attorney will have to find some written evidence of your pre-existing condition and determine the degree to which the accident aggravated it. Otherwise, it might be treated as if there were no pre-existing conditions.
- You were receiving treatment for a pre-existing condition before the accident, but the accident aggravated your condition, so more treatment is necessary. Current treatment for a condition makes it more difficult to show that there has been a change in your condition. Your attorney will have to prove how much the accident aggravated your condition.
They may ask your doctor to examine you and give a written account of any changes in your condition compared to how you were before the aggravation. To assist with your case, your lawyer will also probably ask for a written account of how the doctor will change your treatment from the previous treatment. They may also interview friends, co-workers, and relatives regarding the extent to which your participation in work or activities has changed since the accident.
- You previously received medical treatment for the pre-existing condition in the past but not recently. However, the accident has aggravated the condition and made you seek out additional treatment.
Your attorney will have to prove how the accident has aggravated your pre-existing condition. They’ll review your past medical records and interview your doctor to get a written statement regarding their opinion on the difference between your past and present conditions.
In California, a victim is not entitled to any compensation for any physical or emotional condition that they had before the defendant’s conduct occurred. However, suppose the victim had a physical or emotional condition that was made worse by the defendant’s wrongful conduct. In that case, the jury may vote to reasonably and fairly compensate the victim for the aggravation of that condition.
The state of your health should not prevent you from contacting a knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury attorney in order to obtain compensation if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence.