Do Preexisting Conditions Affect a Car Accident Claim in Virginia?
Dealing with injuries, medical treatment, and car repairs after a car accident is challenging. It is especially challenging though if you also suffer from a preexisting condition that was worsened in the accident. How do preexisting conditions affect a car accident claim in Virginia?
Preexisting Conditions Affect a Car Accident Claim
A preexisting condition is any medical issue that you had before the car accident. Some preexisting conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, will likely not be affected by a car accident. But, other conditions including:
- Back Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Osteoporosis — weakened and brittle bones
- Mental Health Conditions such as PTSD and anxiety
could be worsened in a car accident. This list consists of only a few examples of preexisting conditions that could worsen after a car accident.
How Virginia Protects Car Accident Victims with Preexisting Conditions
Virginia has protections in place to make certain that accident victims who have preexisting conditions can still pursue a personal injury claim. Virginia’s “eggshell plaintiff” rule requires that the insurance company for the person at-fault must take the injured person “as you find them.” This means that even if the accident victim had a preexisting condition at the time of the accident, they may still recover a monetary award in a personal injury settlement. It doesn’t matter how fragile the victim is at the time of the accident or whether their injuries wouldn’t have been as severe if they didn’t have a preexisting condition.
Insurance Companies Deny Liability for Preexisting Injuries
Insurance companies repeatedly attempt to deny liability to injury victims because of preexisting conditions. Insurance companies believe they will be able to get away with making smaller settlement offers for an accident victim who has preexisting conditions.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and had preexisting conditions before the accident, it is important that you consult with a lawyer. A skilled personal injury lawyer will make certain that the insurance company doesn’t try to take advantage of you just because you have preexisting conditions.
How Long Can I Wait to Call a Lawyer?
When you’re injured in an auto accident in Virginia, you must be aware of the statute of limitations which applies in your particular case. The statute of limitations refers to the time you have following an accident to file a lawsuit. In Virginia, this time limit depends upon the circumstances of your accident and injury. The time limitation starts to run on the date of the accident. Filing a claim with an insurance company does not extend or delay the time.
The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the greater the risk that the statute of limitations time limit will expire. If it does, you may lose your right to sue the at-fault party and recover compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured and someone else is at fault, you should contact a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible time. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer early in your case will help prevent deadlines from expiring and will allow your case to be properly prepared.
To be able to determine whether you have a case, your lawyer needs to thoroughly investigate the details about your accident and injuries. Investigating the accident and collecting information is much easier if it occurs quickly after the accident has happened. A time delay can result in many problems like lost evidence and witnesses who can’t be found.
Talk with a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
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Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg.