If you were in a car accident in Houston, TX, and now you are suffering from a worsening of your pre-existing conditions, you might be wondering if you have a claim. While there are many complicating factors when either party has a pre-existing condition, it is possible for you to make a claim. The first step is searching for a “personal injury lawyer near me” to begin working on your case.
Do You Have a Claim in Houston, TX?
As with any car accident-related lawsuit, you have to be able to prove that you sustained significant damages above and beyond what either insurance company is responsible for. If you have pre-existing conditions, you may find that the insurance company is refusing to compensate you at all for your injuries by claiming that they were not related to the accident at all. This is when you will need to seek legal help to determine the merits of your case.
Is Your Pre-Existing Condition Well-Documented?
If you choose to pursue a case against insurance for compensation, you must be prepared to hand over all of your previous medical records. If your pre-existing condition is well-documented, they will use this information to determine whether the accident aggravated the condition significantly enough to warrant further compensation.
What Kind Of Condition Do You Have?
While medical issues are rarely cut and dry, there are some instances where it is much easier to prove that your condition has worsened as a direct result of an accident. Spine, neck, and head injuries are most likely to be aggravated by an accident due to the forces in action when you are hit. These are also the types of conditions that are most likely to result in a major change in your quality of life if they become worse.
On the other hand, pre-existing medical conditions like chronic illness from diabetes and other things are unlikely to sway a judge because the accident probably did not cause a measurable change in your condition overall. Likewise, bad knees, hips, and general arthritis can make for a difficult case unless your accident was so severe that you can show how those body parts were directly affected.
Did You Have Chronic Pain or Other Challenges Before the Accident?
One of the main factors used to determine what you’re owed is the level of injury you suffered prior to the accident. If you had a known condition, but it did not cause you regular pain or discomfort and did not interfere with your day-to-day living, but you now suffer from chronic pain, you can certainly show that the accident aggravated your condition to the extent that now causes you difficulties.
However, if your previous condition already caused significant disruptions in your daily life, it could be hard to demonstrate that the added aggravation of the accident is the cause of your pain. You may still be eligible for some compensation, but it will be an uphill battle.
How Much Do They Owe You?
Another important concept to understand is what the insurance company is legally responsible for. In this case, they are responsible for compensating you up to the point of what was normal before the accident. They are not responsible for treating your pre-existing conditions in their entirety, especially if you already have a long track record of treatments in your medical history.
For instance, if you had a back injury that was being made with pain medication and therapy, but now you need surgery, the insurance company may be responsible for covering that surgery. However, they may not have to cover the continuing medication and therapy that was already part of your treatment plan. These are matters that a judge will have to decide based on your doctor’s records and their opinion of how your condition was progressing prior to the accident.
The Before and After
Building a strong case around injuries sustained with a pre-existing condition will rely heavily on you and your lawyer being able to show major differences between your life before and after the accident. Again, you should be prepared for the insurance company to dig into every little aspect of your life in an attempt to prove that you have not lost a significant amount of time, money, or ability due to the accident.
In other words, if you used to climb mountains with your pre-existing condition, but now you cannot, that is a notable difference in your quality of life. However, if you are back on the side of a mountain a week later and posting pictures of it on social media, the insurance company is definitely going to question how serious your injuries are.
Searching for a “Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me”?
The first step in finding a personal injury lawyer near you is to seek out recommendations from friends or colleagues. Oftentimes there are only a couple of personal injury attorneys that are well known in your area for having high success rates. You will need to schedule consultations in order to go over the particulars of your case.
If you cannot get a referral from someone you know in Houston, TX, the next step is to do an online search for a “personal injury lawyer near me” and start reading reviews from other people who have dealt with them. This is your best chance of finding a qualified attorney to take on your case.
Preparing for Your Consultation
If you want an honest opinion from the attorney you’re looking to hire, you need to be able to show them all of the evidence on your side of the case. This means showing up to your consultation with all of your medical records, statements from your doctors, pictures of the accident, and any reports made in the immediate aftermath.
A qualified lawyer will be able to look through your documentation, listen to your story, and determine if you have enough grounds to make a solid claim. They may tell you that you need to have more documentation or a second opinion from another doctor before they see your case succeeding. Whatever their advice, make sure you follow it closely to help them build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Don’t Hide Anything
The last thing your personal injury lawyer wants is a last-minute surprise in the courtroom. If you want to win your case, you need to give your attorney all of the tools and documentation you have. Hiding parts of your medical history will only hurt your chances in the long run.
Ask Plenty of Questions
Before you agree to hire an attorney, you should also be sure to ask plenty of questions about their track record with cases like yours. You should also seek guidance from them about what you need to do to prevent harming your case. Remember, until your case goes in front of a judge, the insurance company is going to be keeping an eye on you and looking for any reason to have your claim dismissed. Follow their advice to make sure you don’t end up giving away something that could harm your case later.
When it’s time to make a claim after an accident, call Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC right away. Schedule your consultation and begin gathering your documents. The sooner you get started building your case, the more likely you are to get the compensation you deserve from insurance.