If you are filing a personal injury claim, be aware that your medical history may have an impact on the outcome of your claim. Having a prior injury similar to the injury for which you are filing a claim might give the defense an opportunity to try to discredit or reduce your settlement. Speak to a personal injury attorney to discuss your case and to start gathering the medical evidence necessary to prove your accident-related injuries.
Having a Prior Injury Doesn’t Automatically Nullify Your Case
Having a prior injury does not mean you cannot win your claim. You will just need to prove that your injury is related to your accident, or that your accident aggravated a previous injury. Your lawyer can help you accomplish this by gathering medical evidence to support your case and speaking with medical experts.
For instance, let’s say you had a slipped disc in your upper back (cervical spine) years ago. You then are in an auto accident and seriously injure your lower back (lumbar spine.) When you file a personal injury claim, the other driver’s insurance company or their attorney may scour your medical history looking for anything that can be used to pin your current injuries on your prior injuries; they might try to correlate your slipped disc to your new back injury.
When you first consult your attorney about your personal injury claim, provide him or her information about any prior injuries you’ve had. This way, your lawyer will be prepared for the defense and will be able to use prepared expert testimonies to support your case.
Don’t Try to Hide Your History
Some injured victims are afraid to share their medical history when they file a claim, fearful that they won’t qualify for compensation anymore. It’s important to be honest with your medical past for several reasons. Should the insurer or courts find out about your prior injury (and they most likely will) you may lose credibility, which might negatively affect your claim. But before disclosing your medical history, speak with your lawyer.
And along these same lines, don’t try to hide your history or prior injuries from your doctor either. Your doctors take your history into consideration when they are treating you.
Ways to Help Your Case
If you are filing a personal injury case, there are several things you can do that can benefit your case. Start collecting all your medical bills, doctor’s notes, prognoses, etc. and keep it in a folder for safekeeping. Also, you can start an injury journal to document the progression of your injury, your pain levels, and how well your treatments are working.
Another way you can benefit your claim is by making sure you attend all your medical appointments and adhere to your doctor’s orders. If you skip appointments or engage in physical activities that your doctor has prohibited, the insurance company or courts might discredit your claim.
Free Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in Texas
For a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Texas, call the law office of Reyes, Browne, Reilley. We can review your case, give you counsel about the direction to take your claim, and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at (877) 977-2286.