Can Your Pre-Existing Condition Affect Your North Carolina Personal Injury Claim?

Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “What is subrogation and how may it factor into my case?”


Many people assume that they are entitled to file a personal injury claim and receive compensation only if they had no pre-existing medical conditions before the accident that caused or aggravated their injury.

pre-existing-condition-medication-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Injury-Lawyer-300x201However, in most cases, people pursue a personal injury claim with an underlying health condition. Some of these conditions are severe, while others are insignificant and minor. Either way, how do pre-existing conditions affect personal injury claims in North Carolina?


How do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Personal Injury Claims?

As a rule of thumb, a victim of a car accident or any other accident is not eligible to receive compensation for any injuries or medical conditions that were not affected (exacerbated or aggravated) by the latest accident.

However, under North Carolina law, an injured victim is entitled to compensation if the accident had an impact on their pre-existing injury. In that case, the victim is eligible to recover damages to the degree that the latest accident affected their underlying condition.

An injured person may be able to get compensated for the aggravation of not only their pre-existing physical injury but also mental health conditions. Since pre-existing conditions play a major role in determining how much compensation you are entitled to, it is vital to seek help from a skilled attorney to help you identify the severity of your medical condition before and after the accident.

Needless to say, an insurance company will review your medical history to learn about any past injuries and medical conditions. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you establish the extent to which the latest accident aggravated your pre-existing condition.


Seeking Compensation with a Pre-Existing Injury

Just because you have a pre-existing condition does not mean that it makes no sense to seek compensation following an accident that could have made your injury worse. In fact, if you have undergone medical treatment for your pre-existing injury, you may have a better chance of proving that the most recent accident aggravated your condition.

By contrast, someone who has not had a medical check-up for years may have a hard time proving that they had no pre-existing injuries prior to the accident. Any medical records regarding your underlying medical condition will serve as critical evidence to establish the severity of your pre-existing injury, making it easier to determine how the latest accident made your injury worse.

When discussing your situation with a skilled personal injury attorney in North Carolina, it is advised to be completely honest about any pre-existing conditions that you may have. Failure to disclose information about your pre-existing injuries could not only delay the claims process but is also likely to result in the denial of your claim.


Can Your Claim be Denied or Undervalued Due to a Pre-Existing Injury?

When it comes to determining how pre-existing conditions affect a personal injury claim, it is important to consider the “eggshell skull” concept, which is also known as the “take your victim as you find him” rule.

The rule means that the feebleness or frailty of a victim is not a valid defense in a tort case. Also, keep in mind that the insurance company is likely to dismiss or undervalue your claim, arguing that your injury is stemming from your pre-existing condition.

Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Charlotte to discuss how your pre-existing injury can affect your claim in North Carolina. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video or phone consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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