After your accident, one of the first things you may receive from the insurance company is a medical authorization release form. And you may be tempted to sign it believing that it only gives the insurance company the right to order medical records related to your recent accident. Be careful.
Insurance companies are billion-dollar companies, in part, due to their thoroughness. With this in mind, they can use a signed release to order your most recent medical records as well as documents related to your past health history.
If the insurance company is able to find evidence of any pre-existing injuries in your medical history, it has the potential to be a problem for your personal injury case.
For example, maybe you were previously under chiropractic care for an old back injury? Perhaps you had prior surgery on your shoulder for a sports injury? The insurance company may attempt to use your pre-existing injuries as an excuse to discredit or undervalue the injuries suffered in your most recent accident.
In reality, pre-existing injuries have the potential to harm your case or help your case, and it will depend on a number of factors, including whether or not you are transparent with your doctor(s) and attorney about your health history.
Always Tell Your Doctor(s) & Attorney About Any Prior Injuries
After your accident, Boulton Law Group recommends that you always be honest and forthcoming with your doctor(s) and attorney about any pre-existing injuries you may have had at the time of your accident. This is especially vital if an injury from your most recent accident has aggravated the same area where a pre-existing condition is located.
Your doctor and attorney will use your disclosure of pre-existing injuries for different purposes, specifically from a “personal health” and “injury case” perspective, respectively.
Most importantly, by disclosing pre-existing injuries to your doctor, you enable them to better treat you. However, your admission of prior conditions also allows the doctor(s) to determine whether or not your existing injuries have been aggravated or worsened by a pre-existing condition.
Your attorney will use your disclosure of pre-existing injuries to identify which medical records from your past may need to be ordered. Your past records can then be used in combination with your present medical documentation as evidence to show one of the following:
- Your accident aggravated or worsened a pre-existing injury.
- Your accident is responsible for a new injury, completely unrelated to the pre-existing condition.
Ultimately, Boulton Law Group’s goal is to provide sufficient evidence to the insurance company that rightfully equates or dismisses your pre-existing injuries to help ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your accident claim.
Common Causes and Types of Pre-Existing Injuries
Put simply, many of us have bumps and bruises from our past! The insurance company counts on this fact as part of their strategy. In fact, they may ask you point-blank, “Have you ever had a prior injury, and if so, how did it happen?”
First, you should never answer a question like the above one without first speaking to an experienced Indianapolis injury lawyer. Second, we understand that injuries happen for any number of reasons and it should not necessarily be counted against you in a personal injury claim.
Specifically, Boulton Law Group’s has helped clients who have sustained past injuries from a wide variety of causes, such as:
- Work history
- Prior accidents
- Physical assault
- Age-related conditions, etc.
In some cases, a client’s past injuries or conditions will have no effect on their existing injuries, however, there are parts of the body that are more susceptible to injury no matter the activity or accident-type.
Locations and types of the more common pre-existing injuries an accident victim may have sustained in their past include:
No matter where your current or pre-existing injuries are physically located on your body, an experienced personal injury attorney will determine the appropriate strategies to help ensure the insurance company does not attempt to dismiss your claim.
Pre-Existing Injuries are NOT a Deal-Breaker!
Boulton Law Group has successfully settled and received jury verdicts for a number of clients who had pre-existing conditions, yet suffered a more recent injury due to incidents such as:
We want accident victims to understand that a pre-existing injury does not automatically damage their present claim.
The best way to help determine how your pre-existing injuries may affect your current claim is to have an experienced Indianapolis injury attorney evaluate your potential case.
Boulton Law Group: Results & Treating Clients Like Family
If you have questions about how a pre-existing condition might affect your car accident case, attorney Matt Boulton provides injured victims with a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise helps to ensure that everyone has access to free, friendly legal advice and that you will never pay our firm a dime until we win your case.
Boulton Law Group has obtained results for injured victims with cases similar to your own, and our reputation for treating clients like family continues to make us a sought-after personal injury firm by Hoosiers throughout the state.
To contact attorney Boulton direct, call us at 317-350-2680, or if you prefer to write to us with the details of your accident claim, you may use our confidential contact form. Attorney Boulton personally reviews every contact received at our firm.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help you.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.