While a traumatic car accident can be devastating for even the healthiest person, it can be exponentially worse when it worsens a victim’s previous injury. Not only can a prior injury exacerbate the effects of a collision, but it can give an insurance company an excuse to limit the amount in compensation it’s willing to payout.
At The Mandel Law Firm, we understand that an aggravated injury means you deserve more compensation, not less. That’s why we’re ready to investigate the accident in question, determine how it impacted your previous injury, and fight to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve.
If you still have questions about how previous injuries could impact your claim, contact an experienced member of The Mandel Law Firm today. We offer free and confidential case evaluations, during which we can review your situation and answer your immediate questions at absolutely no cost to you.
New York’s No-Fault Rules
New York is one of several states with no-fault rules regarding car accident claims. In no-fault states like New York, anyone who has been involved in a car accident must file a claim with their own insurance provider, rather than with the insurance provider of the person who caused the accident. The system is meant to remove bureaucratic red tape and get victims the money they need for medical bills and certain other expenses as quickly as possible.
In circumstances where a victim’s injuries are considered “serious,” that victim may be able to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver for excessive medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Examples of injuries that may be considered “serious” include:
- Bone fractures
- Permanent limitations of a body organ or limb
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of fetus
Prior injuries can complicate any accident claim because even a diligent medical professional can struggle to differentiate between a preexisting injury and an injury caused by a recent traumatic collision. Add to this challenge a for-profit insurance company looking to protect its bottom line, and you’re likely to get excuses and a reduction in compensation.
While you cannot be compensated after a collision for injuries sustained prior to the collision, you should be compensated if the collision exacerbated previous injuries. For example, you cannot receive compensation for an arm that was broken prior to the collision in question. However, you can receive compensation if the preexisting fracture necessitated the amputation of the arm as a result of the collision.
Medical records are vital documents that can establish the extent of any preexisting injuries and conditions that an accident victim may have suffered. Without complete and thorough medical documentation, an insurance provider can claim that a victim’s injuries were already present, and consequently reduce the amount of compensation they’re willing to pay.
Because of this, car accident victims should retain an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can gather both old and new medical evidence to document your injuries and demonstrate how the accident aggravated a prior injury or condition. They will also know how to counter the arguments made by the insurer, which could impact the value of your claim.
Talk to an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney Today
If a car accident has aggravated your prior injuries, talk to a skilled New York personal injury lawyer today. Insurers could use your previous medical history against you and the value of your claim may be at stake.
To get the full compensation you deserve, contact a New York car accident attorney with The Mandel Law Firm today. We offer free and confidential case reviews and look forward to discussing your concerns at your earliest convenience.