How Your Pre-incident Medical Condition Affects Your Post-incident Claim for Damages

If you’ve been injured in an accident and make a claim for damages your pre-incident medical condition will, for better or worse, become relevant.  First, how this may help you.

Pennsylvania follows what is called the “eggshell head” concept of post-incident damages.  Put simply, if you are pre-disposed to injury, perhaps because of a genetic or even a trauma induced condition, a negligent party will be liable for the damages you suffer in an accident even though they may be greater than what another person who was not pre-disposed would have suffered.  So, for instance, if prior to your accident you had a degenerative knee condition and, as a result of the accident you tear a ligament in your knee, you will be entitled to damages for that torn ligament even though it may not have resulted if you did not have the degenerative condition.

Your pre-incident medical condition may also potentially harm your post-incident damages claim.  Say for instance you injured your back in a motor vehicle accident.  Let us also presume that in the months or even years prior to your accident you sought chiropractic treatment due to a back strain suffered at work.  Those chiropractic records, despite being years old, will be the focus of scrutiny for the insurance companies.  They will argue that perhaps your prior back pain never resolved and that the post-accident back pain is actually related to your prior work injury.  They may even hire an “expert” medical professional to offer an opinion consistent with that argument.

Your pre-incident medical condition and supporting records can influence whether and to what degree you recover damages for your post-incident injuries.  That is why it is so important that you hire an attorney that knows the tricks and tactics that the insurance companies will use to deny or minimize your claim.  As a former insurance defense lawyer I know how the insurance company lawyers think and how they will use your medical records against you.  If you have a question how about your medical history may affect your claim contact me today for a free no obligation case evaluation.