Many people live with pre-existing medical conditions. It might be a bad back after a long-ago injury playing sports as a child. It might be a health condition such as anxiety or depression. When you’re involved in a car accident in California, you might want to know if your pre-existing conditions are covered while you’re receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the accident caused by someone else. The answer to this question is one that’s very clear according to the law. No pre-existing medical condition is covered by the at-fault party following a car accident. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you resign yourself to paying for your own medical bills following an accident.
When you are the victim of an accident that caused you injury, you’re going to receive payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. That insurance company will do everything in its power to limit the amount of money they’re required to pay to you following the accident. Their legal team works to prove your injuries are not severe, that they are pre-existing, or that the driver at-fault shouldn’t be charged with the accident. They don’t want to pay you the kind of money you deserve, so they’re going to do everything to prove you aren’t in need of a large settlement.
Many insurance companies will look for a way to argue your injuries or health issues are pre-existing to remove the financial burden from their responsibility. When this occurs, the driver’s insurance company will probe into your medical history. A judge might require you provide a full medical history to the insurance company to prove you’re not someone who lived with a pre-existing condition. This either works in your favor, or it doesn’t. The insurance company might request proof your injury was a result of the accident, and this might mean your doctor must come to your defense. It can become a long, drawn out, messy process.
If it comes to this, the law requires the at-fault party’s insurance company issue a subpoena for your medical records. They’ll go over your records looking for anything to indicate your injuries are pre-existing. If they find any conceivable evidence and/or proof your injuries are partially to blame on a pre-existing condition, they’ll work to reduce the amount you’re owed.
There’s always find print and gray areas associated with insurance and medical law. In this case, many victims are unaware they suffer from a pre-existing condition. If a victim seeks medical treatment following an injury and it’s discovered the victim suffers from a condition they were unaware of, it becomes a different story. California law refers to this as an incidental finding, and it has nothing to do with the amount of money you’re owed by the at-fault party’s insurance company. You’ll need to provide your medical records, testimony from your primary care doctor, and testimony from the doctor who treated you following the accident. Legally, the at-fault party’s insurance company an drag this process out for months on end, which is frustrating for the victim.
Just because you suffer from a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean you are automatically going to lose out on your settlement following an accident. Many people suffer from conditions their entire life without any issue until they’re the victim of an accident, and the other driver’s insurance is still financially responsible for your injuries.
A personal injury attorney knows the law in California, and they can help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for aggravating your injuries. For example, if you suffer from osteoporosis and a car hits you, you might suffer from broken bones. It’s not your fault or the fault of your condition your bones broke. It’s the fault of the driver’s negligence, and you’re owed compensation. A lawsuit is often the only way to seek payment from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The law is complex and often confusing to those suffering injuries. California law was created to protect all parties, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t work for you when someone else’s negligence is to blame. Call our personal injury attorneys today to discuss your case, your rights, and what happens next. You shouldn’t suffer medically because someone else was negligent. You have rights, and it’s time to exercise those rights.
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