Pre-Existing Conditions and Personal Injury Cases
San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers » Pre-Existing Conditions and Personal Injury Cases
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Many people struggle throughout their lives with diseases and conditions. When you have been in an accident such as a car accident, or been the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit these conditions can become issues in your case. This can be very problematic because generally in this lawsuit you will be suing an entity that is going to have to pay out on these injuries you have suffered.
Unfortunately, this is a problem because insurance companies do not want to pay for these things and they are going to do everything in their power to prove that some of these conditions or injuries you have may have been in existence far prior to their tortuous conduct, therefore they should not have to pay for it. This article will discuss pre-existing conditions and how they may affect your personal injury case.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is basically a health or mental health condition or some form of illness or disability that you may have had prior to getting health insurance coverage. Therefore, it is determined to have existing before you got coverage. The way that this can be used against you will be to deny coverage or attempt to give you a higher premium because of the fact that you have this condition. Examples of something that would be a pre-existing condition would be high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes or a heart condition.
However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March of 2010 and prohibits pre-existing condition requirements that have been imposed by health care plans. As of September of 2010, children that are below the age of 19 cannot be refused coverage under their parent’s health plan and insurance coverage based on any pre-existing condition. Furthermore, by 2014 this will apply to adults as well.
How do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect my Personal Injury Case?
As stated earlier, the easiest thing for defense lawyers to argue against your case for damages resulting from a personal injury is that regardless of whatever tortuous conduct was committed by their client, your injury was beforehand. The area where this becomes an issue for the plaintiff is that in a negligent personal injury case you must establish that there was a duty on the part of the defendant, they breached that duty, there was an injury and that conduct caused that injury. Therein lies the crux of the problem. If you cannot establish the causation element between that defendant’s conduct and your injury because your injury was a pre-existing condition then you are not going to be able to meet the requirements to recover against that party. You must prove to the jury that the injury was truly caused by the defendant’s conduct, and not something that you were struggling with far prior to the events that spurred this litigation. This can be a difficult thing to establish, but with experienced legal representation it can be done.
Are There Laws to Help With my Pre-Existing Condition Issues?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes. While pre-existing conditions are troublesome to plaintiff’s attorneys, they are equally troublesome to defense attorneys. There is something in existence that is called the “eggshell skull” or “thin skull” rule.
This means exactly what it sounds like. You treat your victim as though they have a skull made out of an eggshell. Therefore, if you are injured by the negligence of another party and it aggravates an existing condition and it results in you having a more severe injury than it would to a party that did not have this injury, the injuring party is equally liable regardless.
In sum, there are a number of different legal mechanisms that can be used to ensure that you are able to receive maximum recovery for the losses that your have incurred because of the negligence of another party. The attorneys at Our Law Offices are well-versed in these laws and will do everything we can to make sure that you are compensated accordingly. To discuss the particulars of you case, please contact us.