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Will a Pre-Existing Condition Hinder a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Arizona?

Will a Pre-Existing Condition Hinder a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Arizona?

shapiro.admin June 24, 2021 Personal injury

Personal injury claims arise in various ways throughout Scottsdale, Arizona, and injury victims deserve compensation if they are harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of others. However, if an injury victim has a pre-existing condition, could this affect their personal injury lawsuit?

The truth is that insurance carriers and at-fault parties will try to use pre-existing conditions as an excuse not to pay compensation to injury victims. However, we want to discuss why pre-existing conditions should not play a role in a victim’s ability to recover compensation after they are harmed due to another person’s actions.

Why Pre-Existing Conditions Could Cause a Problem

Insurance carriers are typically “for-profit” entities looking to make sure that they do not pay out major settlements. Paying major settlements will cut into the carrier’s bottom line. Because of this, insurance carriers will look for any reason possible to deny a claim or offer less money than a claim is really worth. One way they do this is to look for any pre-existing conditions of the person making a claim.

What does it mean for a person to have a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition can be any type of injury or illness that a person sustained in the past that could be aggravated by a current situation. Some of the most common examples of pre-existing injuries or illnesses include the following:

  • Prior back injuries
  • Previous or ongoing joint conditions
  • Previous or ongoing respiratory illnesses
  • Cardiovascular diseases or illnesses
  • …and more

Often, when a person sustains an injury or illness, or when they have an ongoing chronic condition, there is a chance that the injury or illness could be aggravated due to the careless or negligent actions of others. Pre-existing injuries could be aggravated by a vehicle accident, workplace accident, premises liability incident, defective product incident, and more.

Why Pre-Existing Conditions Should Not Matter

If the stakes were not so high for a personal injury case, the reasoning used by insurance carriers and at-fault parties to deny claims based on pre-existing conditions would almost be humorous. It is almost as if insurance carriers are saying that if someone has ever experienced an injury in their lifetime, then they will never be able to recover compensation should they be harmed again, regardless of the cause of the injury.

This is simply not how personal injury cases work. Let us suppose that a person injures their back in a car accident caused by the careless actions of another driver. However, suppose the injury victim also sustained a back injury at work five years before the car accident. Undoubtedly, the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver will try to argue that the injury victim had a pre-existing injury and should not receive compensation for their current back problem.

You can see how ludicrous this is. The at-fault driver is still just that – “at-fault.” Their insurance carrier should most certainly be on the line for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages suffered by the injury victim because the current back injury would not have occurred had the at-fault driver not made an error. Regardless of whether or not the back injury is a new injury or the aggravation of a pre-existing injury, the fault driver’s insurance carrier should pay compensation.

Securing Compensation When There is a Pre-Existing Condition

If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, you need to seek assistance from a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will examine the facts of the case, and they will look at any pre-existing injuries that could affect the outcome of a claim. An attorney will handle all negotiations with other parties and work to ensure that liability is properly determined and that their client recovers maximum compensation.

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