Auto Accidents and Personal Injuries happen every day, these things are a part of life.  When you are injured due to the fault of another, you have a right to recover for those injuries.  Unfortunately, Insurance Companies want to stop you from recovering everything you are entitled to under the law.  There goal is to make money, they do not care about you or your injuries.  Pre-existing injuries or conditions are always used by insurance companies to try and diminish your claims and how much money they will pay for your injuries.  However, if you plan ahead and work with an attorney then you can fight back against the insurance companies and get everything you deserve for your injuries.

The first step in protecting your rights is to inform your attorney about all of your pre-existing injuries as soon as possible.  A pre-existing condition or injury can be any number of things ranging from osteoarthritis, joint pain, prior surgeries, prior illnesses, previous auto accidents, joint replacements, bulging discs, back/neck/spine surgeries, and prior brain traumas.  What is important is that you let your attorney know as soon as possible so that he or she can take steps to minimize the ability of the insurance company to use these conditions or injuries.

The next step is to communicate with your doctors fully about the nature and extent of your new injuries.  Often times a client will get injured in an auto accident and re-injure a part of their body.  For example, a client had previously torn his meniscus in his right knee.  He went to his doctor, it was treated, and he has recovered.  This same knee was injured as a result of the accident.  It is important that he inform his doctor that he did not have any pain in his knee prior to the accident due to his previous knee injury.  If he fails to mention this to his doctor or the doctor does not make a note of this fact in his medical record, then the insurance company can and will argue that any pain, suffering, and medical treatment occurring after the accident was completely due to the pre-existing injury rather than the negligence of their insured driver.  Taking a few simple proactive steps to communicate with your doctor can mean getting thousands more in an ultimate settlement of the claim.

Communication about pre-existing injuries or conditions is equally important.  When your attorney is negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf, it is imperative that he or she knows as much or more than they do.  Any surprises of prior injuries or conditions can show the insurance company that the attorney may not be as prepared to fight for his or her client as they should be.  If the insurance company smells weakness, you can bet your offer for settlement is going to be lower.  Giving your attorney as much information as possible is vital.

Remember, Insurance Companies keep track of every claim that is made and use a database to share information about claims with one another.  If you had a prior accident and you injured your neck, they will know about it.  If you were previously hurt at work and claimed to have a permanent injury, then they will know about it.  They can and will use all of this against you when trying to settle the claim and in Court!  Just remember to be proactive and consult the Law Office of R. Christopher Leone, LLC when you are injured by another party.