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If you’ve been in a car accident recently, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages suffered as a result of that accident. Unfortunately, having pre-existing medical issues can affect the process. 

To ensure you’re fully compensated for your car accident injuries, it’s important to work with a local personal injury attorney like our Columbus-based team at Cooper Elliott. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how your pre-existing medical issue can affect your potential accident case and how working with our experienced car accident attorneys can help.

What are Pre Existing Medical Issues?

Pre-existing medical conditions cover any medical issue that you may have had before the car accident. 

These can include everything from asthma to diabetes and degenerative disc disease to chronic leg pain. 

Even though they may be completely unrelated to your car accident injuries or damages, insurance adjusters will commonly scrutinize these conditions when assessing accident claims in an attempt to minimize their liability. 

This can have a potentially significant effect on your case.

Pre-Existing Conditions and Ohio Car Accident Settlements

Ohio law states that victims of car accidents are entitled to compensation for their injuries, regardless of any preexisting condition they may have had. 

However, while you cannot be denied compensation due to a preexisting issue, that condition does have the potential to impact the value of your case. 

Insurance companies, and the adjusters who work for them, will often try to argue that the crash did not cause the injury because it was preexisting, or that your injuries simply aren’t as bad as you state. This is why it’s crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side throughout the entire claims process.

Documentation of Your Injuries for Your Claim

To establish the impact of the accident on your preexisting condition, having thorough and complete medical documentation is vital to your claim. 

This is also why it’s important to get medical attention immediately after the accident. A medical visit will produce accurate records that reflect the full extent of your injuries and damages after the car accident. 

Additionally, providing complete medical records of your preexisting condition can help to differentiate between the injuries caused by the accident, any that are related to your preexisting condition, and any preexisting conditions that were made worse by the accident.   

Working with an attorney skilled in personal injury cases in Ohio is a critical factor in building a strong case that helps you recover every bit of compensation you’re entitled to.

What If My Car Accident Did Affect My Preexisting Condition?

If you had a preexisting condition that was exacerbated or “aggravated” by your accident, this can still be considered.

This is because Ohio operated under the “eggshell plaintiff rule.” The idea is that even if someone had a weak spot on their head, if someone causes them an injury that leads to a traumatic brain injury, the fault still lies with the person who caused the accident.

In this case, you’ll need to work with your lawyer to prove:

  1. How your pre-existing condition affected (or didn’t affect) your life prior to the injury;
  2. How the accident made your pre-existing condition worse; and
  3. How treatment for your pre-existing condition can no longer be delayed (if you are seeking compensation for further treatment).

Contact Cooper Elliott For Your Injury Claim

A preexisting condition when dealing with a personal injury claim could increase likelihood that you’ll run into trouble with insurance companies. An experienced attorney will have a deep, functional knowledge of Ohio personal injury laws, as well as what it takes to build a strong case. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Ohio, but are concerned with the potential difficulty of getting the settlement you need, Cooper Elliott is here for you. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case.