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How Do Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Affect Car Accident Claims?

Sailun Tires

If a car accident results from another driver’s negligence, you can typically file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries and damages.

However, this process can become complicated if you have pre-existing medical conditions before the collision. The insurance company will most likely question such injury to reduce your overall settlement or dismiss your claim.

In this article, we’ll examine how pre-existing medical issues might impact auto accident claims and provide legal advice on handling such complexities when winning a case.

When Can I File a Car Accident Claim?

Suppose another driver struck you, causing you injuries and other damages. In that case, you have the option to file a car accident claim seeking compensation for various expenses incurred, such as medical bills and vehicle repairs. 

However, not all individuals involved in car accidents can pursue such claims. It’s crucial to meet specific criteria, including proving that the accident occurred due to another driver’s wrongful actions, sustaining injuries from the collision, and possessing adequate evidence to support your claim. 

Meanwhile, if you’re found to be at fault for the accident, you may not have the right to seek compensation for damages. Therefore, establishing that your injuries resulted from the other party’s negligence is essential when filing a claim.

Can I Still Receive Compensation for a Car Accident If I Have Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?

If your auto accident has nothing to do with your pre-existing condition, you cannot pursue compensation for it. On the other hand, you can file a car accident claim if the crash worsened a pre-existing ailment or caused your injuries entirely. 

A victim with a pre-existing injury is commonly referred to as a “soft-shell or thin-skulled plaintiff” in personal injury law. This means that a person has a higher probability of being hurt in a new accident, even if minor, than someone who had never been injured before the crash.

For example, you have existing leg injuries. Suppose you get involved in a car accident, and it results in a catastrophic leg injury. In that case, it may be assumed that your existing pre-medical condition influenced the severity of your injury.  

It’s crucial to remember that the at-fault driver’s insurance provider might ask for your medical records to confirm your injuries and try to reduce your settlement by using your pre-existing condition against you.

How Do Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Affect Car Accident Claims?

Pre-existing medical conditions can substantially impact car accident claims, affecting the compensation you receive for injuries caused by the crash. When evaluating such claims, several factors may be influenced by your existing pre-medical condition. 

Proof of Causation

You are generally allowed to file a car accident claim to receive compensation for your injuries if your injuries result from the collision. However, if you have a pre-existing condition before the crash, the liable party’s insurance company may argue that the crash did not cause your injuries; instead, it is already present prior to the crash. 

For example, you were suffering from a minor back injury, and a collision in Los Angeles caused your neck injury. While your neck damage resulted from the crash, the insurance company may say that it already existed before the car accident, especially if you lack documentation showing the cause of your neck injury.

This is why you must have the necessary evidence to prove that your injuries result from the crash rather than being present before the incident. In such a case, you may also seek assistance from a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can examine your situation and collect proof to justify your claim.

Challenges in Determining the Total Damage

Sometimes, a car accident may aggravate your pre-existing medical condition. In such a circumstance, you are still entitled to file a claim for compensation. Unfortunately, the insurance company may insist that your existing injuries were severe before the crash, potentially reducing your settlement. 

When this happens, it may be challenging to determine the total damage. Calculating the medical expenses directly linked to the accident against those associated with continued treatment for the pre-existing condition requires careful consideration. Insurance companies may try to reduce payments by connecting some of the treatment costs to the pre-existing illness.

Case Dismissal

Insurance companies can use pre-existing conditions as leverage to reduce the value of a claim or completely deny obligation. They might contend that your injuries were pre-existing and unconnected to the collision, which might result in a case dismissal. 

This is why obtaining thorough medical records outlining how the accident affected the pre-existing ailment is crucial. However, it could be challenging to distinguish the accident’s effects from your pre-existing condition in medical records, making it unclear how to prove the cause of the injuries. In such an instance, a car accident lawyer can advise you to seek the appropriate medical care to establish the cause of your injuries. They can calculate the total damage from the diagnosis and other evidence and negotiate for maximum compensation.


Pre-existing medical issues can complicate liability determination, damage assessment, and settlement negotiations, which can substantially influence auto accident claims. If you have pre-existing medical illnesses you may face challenges in determining the cause of their injuries, keeping track of their medical costs, and estimating their future care requirements. 

Additionally, insurance providers may oppose them by linking injuries to pre-existing conditions to reduce compensation. To properly traverse these hurdles, you may gather thorough medical data, consult an expert lawyer, and fight for just compensation. 

A lawyer can help you prove your pre-existing medical condition in a car accident by compiling detailed medical documents and data that show the severity of your ailment before the incident. They can collaborate with medical specialists to create a detailed timeline of your medical history, emphasizing any exacerbation of pre-existing injuries or conditions caused by the accident. Furthermore, a lawyer can challenge any efforts by insurance companies to minimize your injuries by giving solid arguments and evidence to back up your claim.

Remember that pre-existing conditions and obstacles notwithstanding, you can still pursue successful auto accident claims and obtain just compensation by being well-prepared and represented.


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