The Impact of Pre-existing Conditions on Personal Injury Claims

The Impact of Pre-existing Conditions on Personal Injury Claims

When pursuing a personal injury claim, one of the most significant challenges can be proving that your injuries are directly related to the incident in question, not exacerbated by pre-existing conditions. This issue can complicate claims significantly, affecting the amount of compensation you might receive. This article explores how pre-existing conditions impact personal injury claims and offers strategies for dealing with these challenges effectively. The focus key phrase for SEO optimization is “impact of pre-existing conditions on personal injury claims.

Understanding the Role of Pre-existing Conditions

Definition of Pre-existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition is any medical issue or injury that existed prior to the incident that led to the personal injury claim. This can range from chronic illnesses and previous injuries to degenerative diseases that can affect the bones and joints, like arthritis.

Why Pre-existing Conditions Matter

Insurance companies often scrutinize claims for evidence of pre-existing conditions to minimize their financial responsibility. Their argument typically hinges on the assertion that the claimant’s current suffering is due more to these prior conditions than to the incident caused by their insured.

The “Eggshell Skull” Doctrine

This legal principle dictates that a defendant must take a plaintiff “as they find them.” This means if a claimant has a pre-existing condition that makes them more susceptible to injury, the defendant is still liable for all the damages caused by their negligence, even if the injuries are more severe than what might be expected in a healthier person.

Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions

It’s crucial to distinguish between pre-existing conditions that were stable and those that were aggravated by the accident. If a pre-existing condition has been worsened due to the incident, the claimant may be entitled to compensation for the aggravation, though this often requires detailed medical evidence.

Gathering Evidence

Medical Records

Obtaining comprehensive medical records is essential. These documents can establish the state of your health before and after the incident, providing a baseline for understanding how the incident impacted your pre-existing conditions.

Expert Testimony

Medical experts play a crucial role in personal injury claims involving pre-existing conditions. They can provide authoritative opinions on whether and to what extent the incident exacerbated any pre-existing conditions.

Consistent Medical Treatment

Maintaining a consistent treatment schedule for pre-existing conditions can help demonstrate their impact on your life. Regular medical appointments and treatments document the progression of these conditions over time.

Strategies for Managing Claims with Pre-existing Conditions

Full Disclosure

Always disclose any pre-existing conditions to your attorney from the start. This transparency allows your lawyer to build a robust case that anticipates and counters the defense’s arguments regarding these conditions.

pre-existing conditions in injury claims

Focus on Aggravation

Highlight how the accident has aggravated your condition. This approach shifts the focus from the existence of the pre-existing condition to the additional harm caused by the accident.

Use of Comparative Medical Analyses

Comparative analyses by medical professionals can delineate the impact of the accident distinct from the pre-existing conditions. These analyses are persuasive in demonstrating how the incident exacerbated your health issues.

Dealing with Insurance Adjusters

Be Prepared for Surveillance

Insurance companies might conduct surveillance or scour your social media profiles to find evidence that your condition is not as severe as claimed. Be mindful of your public activities and online presence during your case.

Negotiation Skills

Effective negotiation skills are crucial when dealing with insurers who may use pre-existing conditions as a reason to reduce compensation. A skilled attorney can negotiate based on the evidence of aggravation rather than the existence of conditions.

Expert Legal Help is Crucial

Navigating a personal injury claim with pre-existing conditions can be complex and demanding. If you are dealing with such a claim, it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation. We invite you to get a free case evaluation to discuss how your pre-existing conditions might affect your claim and to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.


The presence of pre-existing conditions does not bar you from receiving compensation in a personal injury claim, but it does complicate the process. Understanding the “impact of pre-existing conditions on personal injury claims,” both legally and medically, can help ensure that you are adequately compensated for the full extent of your injuries—both pre-existing and those caused by the incident.

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