A very common concern that many clients have following a car accident is what effect a pre-existing injury may have on their claims. Insurance companies will not hesitate to use a pre-existing condition or injury to discredit your claims and reduce your damages. It is true that pre-existing injuries can make an accident claim more complicated but our Rogers accident attorneys can help.
Proving the elements of your accident claim
As all Rogers accident attorneys will tell you, the first step in pursuing a personal injury claim following a car accident is proving that the other driver was at fault. The reality is, simply being injured in a car accident does not automatically prove the fault of the other driver. The second step is to prove the injuries you sustained as a result of the car accident. If you have any type of pre-existing injury, that means you must also be able to prove that the injuries you sustained in the accident are not related to your old, pre-existing injury.
How to handle pre-existing injuries related to the accident
A pre-existing injury is only relevant if it involves the same area of the body that was injured in the accident. In other words, if you have a pre-existing knee injury but you only injured your head in the accident, then the knee injury is not relevant to your accident claim.
However, if you do have a pre-existing injury that is relevant, it is crucial that you are honest with your Rogers accident attorneys about that injury. It is inevitable that the other side will find out about that old injury and it would be worse for your attorney to be blindsided with that information. Instead, you want your attorney to be prepared to deal with that issue.
The importance of proving physical damages in a car accident case
A major component of a car accident case is “medical damages.” These are calculated by determining the amount of expenses you incurred seeking a diagnosis and treatment for your injuries. These calculations depend on several factors, including the nature of the medical treatment you receive and the type of medical providers who rendered that treatment. A health care provider must first diagnose your injury before he or she can provide appropriate treatment for that injury. Tests and other diagnostic tools are usually required to reach that diagnosis.
Not seeking follow-up medical treatment
Some victims of car accidents are taken to the emergency room by ambulance, directly from the accident scene. However, many want to simply skip the necessary follow-up care by their family physician. Although you may want to put the entire incident behind you as soon as possible, you may be increasing your risk of medical complications or overlooked injuries, which can ultimately affect the value of your case. All Rogers accident attorneys will tell you how important it is to continue to seek treatment.
Be sure to report all of your symptoms
Sometimes, victims in car accidents do not realize that even the smallest aches and pains may be related to, or caused by, the accident. You may be focused on receiving treatment for a broken arm, and fail to mention the headaches or dizziness that you have been experiencing since the accident. What you may not realize is that these seemingly minor symptoms may indicate a more serious medical issue. Remember, your car accident lawyer cannot help you obtain compensation for unreported injuries.
Ignoring your physical limitations
Another big mistake is not owning up to your physical limitations. You can push yourself too hard while you are still recovering, which could result in reinjuring yourself. If you refuse to seek medical attention when you need it, you may set back your recovery. While this may not seem important, doing these things can prevent you from receiving full compensation. For example, if you insist on going back to work before you are really ready, you will be cutting off your compensation for lost wages.
Not following your physician’s instructions
You must follow your doctor’s instructions, for the treatment to be considered part of your damages. If, for some reason, you disagree or have concerns, discuss those concerns with your doctor before you ignore his or her recommendations. You can always seek a second opinion if necessary. If you are having these types of issues, you should discuss your situation with our Rogers accident attorneys.
If you have questions regarding car accidents, or any other personal injury issues in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation, either online or by calling toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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