How do Pre-Existing Injuries Affect a Texas Personal Injury Claim?
Written by Greg on April 16, 2019
Accidents are common occurrences in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) every two minutes a person is hurt due to a vehicle crash. Almost 90,000 people a year are seriously injured in Texas accidents. If you were hurt in an accident, the first thing to do is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. The negligent driver is responsible for the accident and should pay for your medical expenses that result from the wreck. What happens if you had a pre-existing injury or medical condition before the accident?
What is the Definition of a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition or injury is one that you previously experienced. If you have a pre-existing injury, you have already suffered an injury in that particular area of the body. It may have been re-injured or hurt again as a result of an accident.
Just because you have a pre-existing injury, do not assume that you will not be compensated for your new injuries. In fact, your condition may have worsened due to the accident. For example, you had a previous back injury but were treated and it healed. Now you were involved in a rear-end collision that caused whiplash. You will be able to prove that your condition was significantly worsened or aggravated by the accident.
Fully Disclose Pre-Existing Injuries
One of the most important things that any victim should do is disclose any previous injuries or conditions to your healthcare provider and your personal injury attorney. This is essential to getting compensated for your injuries that were caused by the accident.
All too often, victims may feel that by disclosing a previous injury, they will not get the money they need to recover. Unfortunately, that can actually make matters worse. The best thing to do is to tell the treating physician about your prior conditions and injuries, even if they do not seem to pertain to your current injury. The doctor should note the additional medical damages caused by the accident.
What is the Eggshell Skull Doctrine?
The Texas Eggshell Skull Doctrine is also known as the “Thin Skull Rule.” Basically, the rule states that the negligent party must take the victim as he or she finds them. As the victim, you have the right to be compensated for the injuries that happened due to the negligence of someone else.
As a personal injury victim in Texas, you may be eligible to receive compensation after a traffic accident if the pre-existing injury had stabilized prior to the accident or if there was no indication that the condition would worsen before the accident happened. In other words, you should be compensated for any additional injuries or the aggravation of existing injuries that were caused by the negligent party’s actions.
If you were injured in a car accident, always get medical care immediately following the crash. Then, call an experienced personal injury attorney to assist with your claim.
Your case may be more complicated because you have a pre-existing injury, but you may still be owed money for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact our Houston legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case consultation by calling (281) 587-1111!