How Pre-existing Conditions Affect Car Accident Claims [TX ’23]

Can Pre-existing Conditions Affect Car Accident Claims?

Yes! You can be compensated for a pre-existing condition after a car accident in Texas. However, the process of obtaining compensation for your car accident settlement pre-existing condition in Texas can be more complex than a typical personal injury claim.

If you are seeking compensation for pre-existing conditions after a car accident in Texas, consult with a Varghese Summersett personal injury attorney today.

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions and Texas Law

A pre-existing condition is an injury, illness, or medical issue that you had before the accident. In Texas, the law allows individuals to seek compensation for pre-existing conditions if a car accident aggravated their condition. The key is to establish that the accident worsened or caused additional harm to the pre-existing condition.

Eggshell Plaintiff Rule

The “Eggshell Plaintiff” Rule

Under the “eggshell plaintiff” rule, defendants must take their victims as they find them. This means that if a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition, the at-fault party is still responsible for compensating you for the aggravation of that condition.

The “Eggshell Plaintiff” Rule is a well-established legal principle applied in personal injury cases across the United States, including Texas. It is a commonly-used rule in Texas courts when handling cases involving victims with pre-existing conditions or vulnerabilities.

The rule means defendants are responsible for the full extent of any injuries sustained by the victim, even if the victim had a pre-existing condition or vulnerability that made them more susceptible to injury. This rule ensures that compensation for pre-existing conditions isn’t unfairly denied to victims simply because they were more fragile or susceptible to injury than an average person.

Attorneys representing plaintiffs in Texas personal injury cases are likely to rely on the “Eggshell Plaintiff” Rule when arguing for compensation for their clients with pre-existing conditions. They will use this rule, along with supporting medical evidence, to demonstrate that the defendant is responsible for compensating the plaintiff for the full extent of their injuries, including any exacerbation of pre-existing conditions.

Proving Your Car Accident Aggravated a Pre-Existing Condition

To secure a fair settlement for compensation for pre-existing conditions after a car accident, you’ll need to prove that the accident made your pre-existing condition worse. Some common examples of aggravated injuries include:

  • Pre-existing back injury settlement: A car accident can worsen a pre-existing back injury, leading to more severe pain or limitations in mobility.
  • Whiplash injury with a pre-existing condition:If you already had a neck issue before the accident, a whiplash injury can exacerbate your condition, causing additional pain and suffering.

To prove your pre-existing injury was aggravated in car accident, our attorneys at Varghese Summersett will gather evidence, such as medical records and expert testimony, to demonstrate the connection between the accident and the worsening of your condition.

How insurance companies evaluate personal injury claims with pre-existing conditions

Insurance companies often use pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny or reduce compensation. They may argue that your condition existed before the accident and is not their responsibility. This is why it’s crucial to have our experienced attorney representing your personal injury claim seeking compensation for pre-existing conditions in Texas.

Our attorneys will:

  • Analyze your medical records to establish the baseline of your pre-existing condition before the accident
  • Obtain expert opinions to demonstrate that the car accident aggravated your condition
  • Negotiate with insurance adjusters to secure a fair aggravated injury settlement including compensation for pre-existing conditions

How do insurance companies fight against pre-existing conditions in Texas?

Insurance companies often try to minimize their financial liability in personal injury cases, and dealing with pre-existing conditions is no exception. In Texas, insurance companies may employ several tactics to fight against or minimize claims involving compensation for pre-existing conditions, such as:

  1. Denying causation: Insurance companies may argue that the car accident did not cause or aggravate your pre-existing condition. They may claim that the worsening of your condition is due to its natural progression or other unrelated factors, rather than the accident.
  2. Disputing the extent of the aggravation: Insurers might challenge the degree to which the car accident made your pre-existing condition worse. They may argue that the accident only had a minor impact on your condition and, therefore, should not result in significant compensation.
  3. Requesting additional medical records: Insurance companies may request extensive medical records to scrutinize your pre-existing condition and its treatment history. They may use this information to argue that your condition was already severe before the accident or that you did not receive appropriate medical care, which contributed to the worsening of your condition.
  4. Hiring medical experts: Insurers often hire their own medical experts to review your case and provide testimony that supports their position. These experts may argue that the car accident did not aggravate your pre-existing condition or that the aggravation is minimal.
  5. Offering low settlements: Insurance companies may try to take advantage of your pre-existing condition by offering a low settlement, hoping you’ll accept it out of fear that you won’t receive any compensation due to your condition.

To protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for pre-existing conditions, it’s crucial to have one of our experienced personal injury attorneys representing your interests. Our skilled attorney is familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies and can effectively counter their arguments, negotiate on your behalf, and, if necessary, represent you in court.

pre-existing conditions

How can my attorney help prove a car accident made my pre-existing injury worse?

Our attorney can prove that the car accident made your pre-existing condition worse by employing several strategies and gathering various types of evidence. Some of the methods our attorney may use include:

  1. Medical records: Our attorney will collect and analyze your medical records both before and after the accident. These records will help establish the baseline condition of your pre-existing injury and demonstrate any changes or worsening that occurred after the accident.
  2. Expert testimony: Medical experts, such as doctors, physical therapists, or specialists in the specific area of your pre-existing condition, can provide testimony supporting your claim. They can explain the connection between the accident and the aggravation of your condition, as well as provide their professional opinion on the extent of the worsening.
  3. Pain journal: If you have been keeping a pain journal, our attorney can use it as evidence to show the progression of your symptoms and the impact of the accident on your pre-existing condition. This documentation can help demonstrate the severity of your pain and any limitations caused by the aggravation of your condition.
  4. Diagnostic tests: Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, can provide objective evidence of the worsening of your pre-existing condition. These tests can be compared to previous imaging studies to show any changes or deterioration resulting from the car accident.
  5. Treatment history: Our attorney can use your treatment history to show the increased need for medical care, therapies, or interventions after the accident, as compared to before the accident. This can help demonstrate that the accident significantly affected your pre-existing condition.

We’ll build a strong case to prove that the car accident made your pre-existing condition worse by employing these strategies and gathering relevant evidence. This will be crucial in securing a fair settlement or judgment to compensate you for the aggravation of your pre-existing condition.

Tips for Documenting Your Pre-Existing Condition After a Car Accident

To strengthen your claim for compensation in a car accident settlement pre-existing condition in Texas, follow these tips for documenting your pre-existing condition after the accident:

Seek immediate medical attention: Visit a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible after the accident to assess your injuries, including the aggravation of any pre-existing conditions.

Be honest with your healthcare provider: Clearly communicate the details of your pre-existing condition to your healthcare provider, so they can make an accurate assessment of how the accident has affected you.

Request copies of your medical records: Obtain copies of your medical records, both before and after the accident, to establish a clear timeline and show the impact of the accident on your pre-existing condition.

Keep a pain journal: Document your pain, symptoms, and limitations daily in a journal, noting any changes or worsening of your condition.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations: Adhere to your doctor’s treatment plan, attend follow-up appointments, and maintain a record of your progress.

By thoroughly documenting your pre-existing condition and the impact of the car accident, you’ll be better equipped to demonstrate how the accident aggravated your condition and secure fair compensation for pre-existing conditions.

How are pre-existing injury settlements calculated in Texas?

In Texas, settlements for pre-existing injuries aggravated by a car accident are calculated based on several factors. While each case is unique, the following elements generally contribute to the calculation of a pre-existing injury settlement:

  1. Medical expenses: This includes the cost of medical treatment for the aggravation of your pre-existing condition, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation. Your past, current, and future medical expenses related to the aggravated injury will be considered.
  2. Lost wages: If the aggravation of your pre-existing condition caused you to miss work or reduced your ability to earn income, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes wages lost during your recovery and any future lost earning capacity due to the worsened condition.
  3. Pain and suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering takes into account the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the aggravation of your pre-existing condition. This is a subjective element and may vary significantly from one case to another.
  4. Loss of consortium: In some cases, the aggravation of your pre-existing condition may affect your relationships with your spouse or family members. You may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, affection, or support resulting from the worsened condition.
  5. Degree of aggravation: The extent to which the car accident made your pre-existing condition worse will also impact your settlement. A more significant aggravation will generally result in higher compensation.

Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident. If you are more than 50% at fault, you will be barred from recovering any compensation.

Calculating a pre-existing injury settlement in Texas can be complex, and it’s essential to have our experienced personal injury attorneys on your side. We can help you gather the necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for a fair settlement that accurately reflects the impact of the car accident on your pre-existing condition.

The Importance of Legal Representation for Pre-Existing Condition Claims

Insurance companies may attempt to downplay or deny the impact of the accident on your condition, leading to reduced or denied compensation.

Our skilled family law attorneys understand the nuances of Texas law and have extensive experience handling personal injury claims with pre-existing conditions. We’ll work tirelessly to:

  • Review and analyze your medical records
  • Consult with medical experts to strengthen your claim
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Represent you in court, if necessary
Pre-existing Conditions Affect Car Accident Claims
Pre-existing Conditions Affect Car Accident Claims

FAQ: Pre-Existing Conditions and Car Accidents in Texas

Auto insurance will typically not cover pre-existing damage to your vehicle. However, they may cover damages to your vehicle caused by the accident.

To prove that the accident aggravated your pre-existing condition, you’ll need to gather medical records, expert testimony, and other relevant evidence.

Yes, you can recover damages for even slight aggravations of your pre-existing condition, as long as you can prove the aggravation is directly related to the accident.

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas, including those involving pre-existing conditions, is two years from the date of the accident.

Settlements for pre-existing injuries are based on factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the degree to which the accident aggravated the condition.

Common pre-existing conditions aggravated in car accidents include back injuries, neck injuries, joint problems, and pre-existing whiplash injuries.

To increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for pre-existing conditions, work with our experienced personal injury attorney, provide detailed medical records, and gather expert testimony to support your claim.

Yes, disclosing your pre-existing condition to your attorney is essential, as it can significantly impact your case strategy and settlement negotiations.

Seeking Compensation for a Pre-Existing Conditions after a Wreck? Call us today.

Don’t let your pre-existing condition stand in the way of obtaining the compensation you deserve. If you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by a car accident in Texas, you may still be entitled to compensation. With the help of Varghese Summersett’s experienced attorneys, you can navigate the complex process of securing a fair settlement for your injuries. Don’t hesitate to reach out for the legal support and guidance you need to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Let the experienced attorneys at Varghese Summersett help you navigate the complexities of a car accident settlement pre-existing condition in Texas. Call us today at 817-207-4878 or contact us online.

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About the Author

Benson VargheseBenson Varghese is the managing partner of Varghese Summersett. He is a seasoned trial attorney, highly esteemed for his comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field. He has been to trial throughout state and federal courts in Texas. 

As a former insurance adjuster himself, Benson has insights into how insurance companies evaluate claims – and why without the proper encouragement, they are likely to undervalue a claim. Benson uses these insights combined with his clout in the courtroom to obtain justice for his clients – in and outside of the courtroom.

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