CHRONIC INJURY CAUSED OR MADE WORSE BY ACCIDENT VERSUS ACUTE INJURY FROM ACCIDENT
When you are injured in an accident by another person’s negligence, the second thing the insurance company looks at is whether they can blame your injury on a preexisting condition. (The first thing is trying to prove it wasn’t their person’s fault.) One of the key words they look for in your medical records is “chronic.” When an injury is acute, it means it just happened. However, if the injury is chronic, it has been affecting you for a longer time. The insurance company will then try to make it look like you already had the injury before the accident. This is a battle our experienced Minnesota personal injury lawyers have been fighting every day for the last 25 years.
COMPENSATION FOR AGGRAVATION OF PREEXISTING CONDITION
As a general rule, there are at least three things our lawyers look at regarding a pre-existing or chronic condition after an accident injury:
First, many times a “preexisting condition” had no symptoms before the accident and the symptoms were only triggered because of the accident. The insurance company will still try to use this to get out of paying fair compensation, but the law is not favorable to them. Minnesota law says that people who cause an accident take their victim as they find them. For example, you may have had degeneration in your spine or a knee joint but you were functioning fine without pain before the accident. The insurance company still has to compensate you if the accident triggered your pain even, though it might have happened at some point anyway.
Second, many times a preexisting condition can exist, but be well controlled for years before the accident. However, the accident makes it much worse or causes an aggravation of the condition. In those situations, it is true that the accident did not cause the original injury, but you still must be compensated to the extent the accident made it worse.
Third, the word “chronic” itself is misleading because an injury can be considered chronic after just a few months. So just because a doctor labels it chronic rather than acute doesn’t mean it wasn’t caused by the accident. If the accident happened more than a few months earlier, the doctors may already be calling it chronic. An experienced personal injury accident lawyer will educate the insurance company or a jury as to what the medical records really mean.
DON’T BE BULLIED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY
If you have been injured in a Minnesota accident and a preexisting chronic condition has been made worse, or the insurance company is trying to blame a chronic preexisting injury that you didn’t even know about because you had no symptoms, please call us and speak with a MN injury attorney for a free consultation. We will discuss your situation in detail and explain your rights to you.