If you’ve suffered one of several forms of personal injury where another party is potentially liable, you’ll often be claiming compensation from the insurance company associated with this party. And as unfortunate as it may seem, while these companies are ostensibly in place to protect groups and individuals in case of incidents like this, insurance providers will often fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out this compensation if they don’t have to.
At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and their various tactics for attempting to refuse payment to deserving clients. One common strategy these companies will take: Attempting to deny your claim based on what’s called a pre-existing condition. Let’s go over everything you need to know here.
Insurance Companies and Pre-Existing Conditions
As we alluded to above, even if they attempt to claim otherwise, insurance companies generally aren’t on your side whatsoever as you attempt to seek damages for an accident. One of their top potential tactics is using a pre-existing medical condition you already had present as the reason for injuries that were actually caused by a vehicle accident that, in reality, had nothing to do with the condition in question.
Unfortunately, this reflects the fact that insurance companies are for-profit businesses that want to keep their profits high. Even when it involves morally questionable areas like erroneously leaning on your medical history to direct the blame for your injuries elsewhere, they’re willing to do it. They’ll generally attempt to prove that your injury was solely caused by your pre-existing condition, and not in any way cause or even aggravated by the accident in question.
Pre-Existing Condition Examples
There are a number of pre-existing conditions insurance companies may look to here, including (but not limited to) each of the following:
- Various heart conditions
- High blood pressure
- Asthma or allergies
- Degenerative disc disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Complications from various past medical treatments you’ve received (this one is particularly common if you’ve had any recent surgeries or operations).
Making a Successful Claim
A few areas that are important for ensuring an insurance company is not successful at erroneously placing the blame for an accident on your pre-existing condition include:
- Doctor: You should see a doctor or another medical professional as soon as possible after the accident. They can specifically document the injuries you suffered due to the accident, including exacerbation of prior conditions due to the accident (if the accident is proven to have not been your fault, you’ll be due compensation in this case).
- Truthfulness: Never lie about your pre-existing condition – insurance companies have high-level researchers in their employ, and they’ll find out the truth. If you are dishonest, this can be used against you in court.
- Police: Cooperate with all police and first responders after an accident, plus ask for a full police report to use as evidence in your case.
For more on avoiding circumstances where an insurance company denies your claim based on a pre-existing condition, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.