What Is A Pre-existing Condition?
If you’ve recently changed health care plans or enrolled for health care, you’ve heard the term “pre-existing condition.” In the past, insurance companies could deny you coverage or increase your rates due to these types of conditions, but the Affordable Care Act (passed in 2010) made it illegal for insurers to deny you coverage or charge higher rates for such conditions. So, what is a pre-existing condition? Pre-existing conditions are medical illnesses or injuries that are often chronic or long-term. You’ve most likely been diagnosed or treated for the condition and it is something you have to live with for a prolonged period of time, if not the rest of your life.
Common Pre-existing Conditions
Pre-existing conditions can be genetic, trauma induced, or result from the conditions of your environment. Among the most common pre-existing conditions are cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and pregnancy. Conditions such as chronic back pain, neck pain, and like injuries are also common. Whether from a recent accident, years of being exposed to an unhealthy work environment, or simply from genetics, insurance companies will try to determine whether or not you had any pre-existing conditions before your accident in an attempt to minimize or flat out deny your claim.
The Eggshell Skull Rule
Suffering an injury with a pre-existing condition can aggravate and often further complicate your current health status. If you suffer an injury due to the negligence of another party with a pre-existing condition, that party is still responsible for their actions and should still be held liable. Known as the Eggshell Skull Rule, this rule prohibits a pre-existing condition to be used as a defense against the level of damage done to the victim. Specifically, it states that a defendant is liable for a plaintiff’s unforeseeable and uncommon reactions to the defendant’s negligent or unintentional act.
Disclosing Your Pre-existing Conditions
Although having a pre-existing condition cannot bar you from recovering damages in a personal injury claim, it is still important to disclose any pre-existing conditions you may have to your lawyer. Chances are, your new injuries are going to have some sort of impact on your pre-existing condition. It is better to have that out in the open rather than discovered after the fact. Attempting to hide or not disclosing your conditions can negatively affect your claim and your own credibility with the insurance company.
Contact Us Today
Insurance companies will try to search through your medical history for any possible evidence that would suggest your accident has had minimal effects on your health, but do not let a pre-existing condition discourage you from seeking recovery from a personal injury claim. When you are the victim of serious injury, you deserve someone on your side who is both intimately familiar with state and federal laws, and fully devoted to helping you get maximum compensation. At The Cochran Firm Huntsville, we will work one on one with you and ensure you get the justice you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-THE-FIRM to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced and trusted attorneys.