pre-incident medical condition

How Your Pre-incident Medical Condition Affects Your Post-incident Claim for Damages

Your pre-incident medical condition will be relevant if you’ve been injured in an accident and claim damages. Depending on the circumstances, this can be an advantage or a disadvantage in your case.

To Your Advantage

Pennsylvania follows what is called the “eggshell head” concept of post-incident damages.  Put simply, if you are pre-disposed to injury, perhaps because of a genetic or even a trauma-induced condition, a negligent party will be liable for the damages you suffer in an accident even though they may be greater than what another person who was not pre-disposed would have suffered.  So, for instance, if before your accident you had a degenerative knee condition and, as a result of the accident you tear a ligament in your knee, you will be entitled to damages for that torn ligament even though it may not have resulted if you did not have the degenerative condition.

Not To Your Advantage

Your pre-incident medical condition may also potentially harm your post-incident damages claim.  For instance, you injured your back in a motor vehicle accident.  Let’s also presume that years before your accident you underwent chiropractic treatment due to a back strain suffered at work.  Those chiropractic records, despite being years old, will be the focus of scrutiny for insurance companies.  They may argue that there was no resolution to your prior back pain. And that the post-accident back pain is actually related to your work injury.  They may even hire an “expert” medical professional to offer an opinion consistent with that argument.

Your pre-incident medical condition and supporting records can influence whether and to what degree you recover damages for your post-incident injuries.  That is why it is so important that you hire an attorney that knows the tricks and tactics that the insurance companies will use to deny or minimize your claim.  As a former insurance defense lawyer, I know how insurance company lawyers think. And how they will use your medical records against you. Therefore, contact me and get the help that you deserve.


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