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Oct 14

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Dealing with “Pre-Existing” Injuries in an Injury Claim in Idaho

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If you have ever had any complaints of pain or prior injuries in the part of your body that is injured in a car wreck be neck hurtsready for watch out for insurance company manipulation.   

Insurance companies try to use the excuse of a pre-existing injury to avoid responsibility for providing compensation to injured people.  The companies’ goal is to paint the injury claimant as a liar or exaggerator.  In reality, it is not just rare but neigh on impossible, and of course improper, for a person to assert a claim for an injury which pre-existed the injury accident. There are prior medical records documenting the existence of the injury and often witnesses who know of the prior injury.  No reputable injury attorney would ever countenance asserting a false claim.  BUT, that does not mean a that a prior injury cannot play a role in your injury case.

 Impacts of a  Pre-Existing Injury On Your Claim

For example, if you have had a history of neck problems ora bad back and then get in a collision where you suffer a new injurythings can get difficult.   What happens is the new incident makes your prior condition worse, or increases symptoms over what you previously experienced.   Just because you had the prior problem does not mean that you have no valid claim to compensation.    Idaho law, through model Jury instruction called IDJI2d 9.02, instructs a jury that

 

A person who has a pre-existing condition or disability is entitled to recover damages for the aggravation of such preexisting condition, if any, that is proximately caused by the occurrence.  The person is not entitled to recover damages for the pre-existing condition or disability itself.           If you find that before the occurrence causing the injuries in this case the plaintiff had a preexisting bodily condition or disability, and further find that because of the new occurrence in this case the pre-existing condition or disability was aggravated, then you should consider the aggravation of the condition or disability in fixing the damages in this case.  You should not consider any condition or disability that existed prior to the occurrence, or any aggravation of such condition that was not caused or contributed to by reason of this occurrence.           You are to apportion, if possible, between the condition or disability prior to this occurrence and the condition or disability caused by this occurrence, and assess liability accordingly.  If no apportionment can reasonably be made by you, then the defendant is liable for the entire damage.

 

 In other words, people who had a pre-existing problem can recover for the additional problems caused.  And the person who injured you is obligated to prove what portion of the injury they are not responsible for or they have to compensate you for all your problems.

Not surprisingly, this creates substantial conflict in litigation and in these situations contacting a good personal injury lawyer about the best way to pursue your claim for personal injury is extremely important.

 Insurance Companies Try to Deny Responsibility

 Insurance companies will basically say and do anything, and hire anyone, to escape their contracted responsibility to pay for the damages caused by the negligence of their insureds.  Blaming your problems on a prior injury is one of the  tactics they use.  IN reality, however,  the insured is still responsible for the damages that person caused.   That does not change just because the injured person had a prior problem. 

Avoiding this and other tricks played by insurance companies and their adjusters is best accomplished by being completely honest with your own lawyer.    For example, report your entire medical history.    Help your lawyer preventing the carrier from distorting the truth and hurting you again

Permanent link to this article: http://holzeredwardsinjurylawyers.com/2013/10/dealing-with-pre-existing-injuries-in-an-injury-claim-in-idaho/

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