Do Not Lie about Pre-Existing Conditions

Question: I know someone seeking compensation for injuries received in an auto accident. However, the injuries are pre-existing from a previous accident, although this fact is unknown to the other party. I feel this is wrong and should be exposed. Is there anything I can do, as this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Answer:

We suspect that you are not giving enough credit to the other party or the insurance company. If the claim can be settled for a nominal amount of money, the insurance company may not look into the claimant’s medical history. If, as you imply, the claimant will be seeking substantial money for his “alleged” injury, then the insurance company will request his past medical records as they relate to the injured part of the claimant’s body. Very often, the insurance company will obtain a medical release from the claimant, allowing them to obtain the claimant’s medical records. These records will disclose whether or not the claimant had previously treated for the injured body parts.

While the claimant may not recover for damages due to the pre-existing injury, he may recover where the recent injury aggravated or accelerated the pre-existing injury. Aggravation means that a physical condition, already existing, was made worse by this collision. Acceleration is causing a condition to reach a point that it would normally have reached, but at a measurable earlier time.

It is always best to discuss your concerns with an attorney. Contact our office for further information, a free consultation, or representation, and we will be glad to give you our personal attention, or your may visit our website atsternbergandzeid.com or e-mail us at sternbergzeid@ameritech.net .

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