If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in an accident, the claims process is challenging, but obtaining the compensation that you deserve can play a pivotal role in your recovery. If you have a preexisting condition or have other injuries to contend with, both your recovery and the claims process can be even more complicated. Your situation is difficult, and you need an experienced Austin attorney for personal injury on your side.
What’s In This Guide
- The Insurance Company
- A Note about Preexisting Conditions
- Be Honest with Your Attorney
- Your Medical Records
- Your Losses
The Insurance Company
The insurance company is paid to compensate you for your covered losses (or legal damages). Additionally, it is also a for-profit business (like all the other businesses out there), meaning that it will take whatever steps it can to limit your settlement amount. One mechanism it employs is carefully considering your prior medical history – or whatever part of it the company can get a hold of – to cast doubt on whether the injuries you’ve sustained were caused by the accident itself or are due to a preexisting condition. Without a dedicated personal injury attorney in your corner, it can be difficult to limit the scope of the insurance company’s attempts to gain access to your medical records in an injury claim, which can make obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled that much more challenging.
A Note about Preexisting Conditions
The fact that you have a preexisting condition does not bar you from seeking fair compensation for the losses you’ve suffered as a result of the insurance company’s policyholder’s negligence. For example, let’s say that you suffered a back injury in the past that you had overcome to a significant extent and that you were managing very well, but the accident in question reignited that injury and left you with debilitating back pain. The insurance company will go to great lengths to prove that your current pain is a product of your preexisting condition (and has nothing to do with the accident in question) – and will go after all your medical records to back up its theory.
It’s very important to note, however, that the State of Texas employs what is known as the eggshell skull rule, which is a somewhat odd way of saying that the negligent party remains liable for injuries that are magnified by your condition at the time of the accident. In other words, the insurance company has to deal with the plaintiff it gets. You are not required to be in perfect health to be compensated for your losses. If your losses are more considerable due to a preexisting condition, the insurance company handling your claim remains responsible for those considerable losses. This responsibility does not alter the fact, however, that demonstrating that your current physical, financial, and emotional losses were caused by the accident in question is going to be challenging.
Be Honest with Your Attorney
Many claimants are concerned about revealing a preexisting condition to their personal injury attorney because they fear it will negatively affect their settlement. The truth is, however, that your failure to be honest with your personal injury attorney on this point can limit their ability to fight for your rights and your rightful compensation. Ultimately, the insurance company is very likely to obtain your medical records and to make you look like a less-than-honest claimant in the process (which can negatively affect your claim). Further, if your case does end up in court, you don’t want the judge and jury to deem you unreliable (at best).
Your Medical Records
In the end, you will need to show medical records in your injury claim, but the insurance company’s right to access them is not without limits. Without professional legal counsel on your side, it can be very difficult to ensure that the insurance company receives only those records to which it is entitled. The claims examiner in your case is legally entitled only to that portion of your medical records that documents prior injuries and illnesses related to the part of your body that was affected by the accident in question. Your knowledgeable personal injury attorney has the skill and know-how to limit the insurance company’s access (while ensuring it receives the necessary information).
The losses (called damages in the State of Texas) you experience as a result of the other party’s negligence can be immense, and demonstrating they were directly caused by that negligence is challenging work that is best left in the capable hands of your personal injury attorney. Ensuring that your losses are well represented in your personal injury claim, however, is paramount. These losses generally fall into three primary categories.
The medical expenses you face can be considerable from the start but can also extend into the future and may include secondary health concerns. Consider the following common expenses:
- Emergency services
- Surgical care
- Hospital stays
- Medical procedures, tests, and treatments
- Care from doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
- Pain management
- Prescription medications
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Adaptive physical devices
- Ongoing medical care
Your Lost Earnings
While you recover, your lost time on the job will very likely translate to lost earnings, and the matter can be that much more serious if your earning potential is affected.
Your Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering
The physical and psychological pain and suffering you endure as a result of the other party’s negligence should receive the careful attention it deserves.
Make the Call to an Experienced Austin Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, the insurance company handling your claim will seek unchecked access to your medical records, but you have legal rights that prevent this no-holds-barred approach. The distinguished Austin personal injury attorneys at The Patel Firm have a vast array of experience successfully barring insurance companies from overreaching – and protecting our clients’ rights in the process. We’re also here for you, so please don’t delay contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 for more information today.