I have a preexisting condition from a prior auto accident. Do I have to disclose that to the insurance company for my new injury claim in my California auto accident?
If you have a prior injury to the same area of your body that you are claiming you injured in a new accident, it will be mandatory that you disclose this prior condition. However, that does not mean your claim is over. In fact, you may have a very good argument that your claim of injury is even more justified given your susceptibility to injury because of your previous condition.
California law requires that you disclose a pre-accident history in litigation. It is also advisable to disclose it to your doctors and to the other side in pre-litigation, while your claim is pending. By establishing your honesty and integrity in disclosing this information, you increase the probability of success in your case.
A California auto accident attorney or personal injury specialist knows what to look for in medical records to distinguish your current injuries from your past injuries. Simply because you had a prior back injury, and pain right up to the time of the accident does not mean that it was not worsened by the accident. Things like range of motion, physical disability, pain radiating into other limbs, severity of pain, changes in medical and orthopedic tests and increases in medication are all evidence of further or more severe injury.
California compensates people who had a preexisting condition that is exacerbated by an accident. Therefore, sometimes it is to your advantage that you actually disclose that your back was susceptible to injury when the accident occurred.
If you have a prior condition, it is not advisable to attempt to handle this matter on your own. Insurance companies will try to argue that all of your symptoms are related to your past history and none to the accident. Therefore, it is important for you to hire a competent California personal injury attorney. Please call us if we can help you at 1-866-981-5596.
James Ballidis is the managing attorney for Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie and has been practicing personal injury law for 25 years.
If you need assistance or want to speak to an attorney about your accident or injury, call 1 888 752-7474 or contact us.
DISCLAIMER. The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should formally consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Please be advised, however, contacting us, submitting a case to us, and/or discussing your case with us does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.