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What Effect do Pre-Existing Conditions Have on an Auto Accident Claim?

How do pre-existing conditions factor into an accident claim? This is an important and very common question that many of our clients ask following a motor vehicle accident in Colorado. The short answer is that an at-fault party in a motor vehicle accident is not liable for any pre-existing conditions. However, they can be held liable for aggravating or exacerbating the condition(s). When a car accident survivor has a pre-existing condition, the individual’s attorney and medical team will need to determine the extent to which the previous injury has worsened.

Common Pre-Existing Conditions

The older the car accident survivor, the more likely they are to have a pre-existing medical condition. In the United States, roughly one in every three people have a pre-existing health condition. This means that when an accident claim is filed, it is a common point of contention to address.

Common conditions include musculoskeletal injuries, i.e., back injuries, neck injuries, and knee injuries. Older individuals may have arthritis or osteoporosis. Younger individuals may have recently healed broken bones. The individual may have a heart condition, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

The Importance of Medical History

Medical records provide a detailed view of the individual’s health before the accident. They show treatments received, progress achieved, and the extent of the individual’s health before the accident. These records provide a baseline that a personal injury attorney in Boulder can compare to the individual’s post-accident medical records. For example:

  • X-rays that show bone fractures that have opened up or worsening compression of vertebrae.
  • MRIs that show a progression of brain injuries.
  • CT Scans that show exacerbation of nerve injuries.
  • Blood tests that show worsening of heart conditions.

While individuals can’t pursue an accident claim for the pre-existing health condition, they can pursue claims for any aggravation or exacerbation. When an individual presents a detailed medical history, it is much more difficult for an at-fault party’s insurance provider to deny the claim. In fact, it’s imperative to pursue these personal injury claims because when pre-existing conditions are aggravated, it can often require considerable effort and additional expense to regain any previous gains.

The team at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. can help individuals with pre-existing conditions pursue an accident claim following a motor vehicle collision. We invite you to contact us at (303) 447-1144 to schedule a free consultation with our Boulder attorneys

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