What rights do I have following my car accident?
By GNGF on January 23rd, 2023 in
If you sustain significant injuries in an accident, you should call 911 and go to the emergency room as soon as possible after a car accident. The hospital must treat you regardless of your financial ability to pay and even if you do not have health insurance.
This is important to know, as a significant number of people cannot afford health insurance. Don’t feel as though you cannot go to a hospital, even if you sustained injuries in a car accident, simply because you don’t have health insurance, or your health insurance has a high deductible. Once you have chosen an experienced car accident attorney, he or she will help you get the medical treatments you need, while also accurately calculating your damages, then ensuring you receive a full and fair settlement.
After you receive medical treatment for your injuries immediately following the car accident, it is imperative that you follow all your doctor’s recommendations. If your doctor tells you that you need physical therapy twice a week in order to recover the full use of the injured body part, then you must follow those instructions. If you fail to follow through with your doctor’s orders, the insurer may try to say that you aren’t trying to get better, and thus may refuse to pay for your injuries.
Keep careful records of all your hospital and medical expenses. Save every receipt so you can be reimbursed for those expenses. It can be helpful to keep a file that contains anything related to your injuries. In some cases, your damages may even include gas, motel, and meals when the medical professional you need to see is a considerable distance from your home. Never wait to seek medical attention—see a doctor immediately following the accident, even if you think your injuries are not severe.
I have a pre-existing medical condition that was aggravated by my car accident. Can I still pursue a claim?
You are entitled to recover for aggravation of a pre-existing injury caused by an accident. The insurance company will make every effort to discover any and all of your pre-existing injuries in an attempt to minimize or deny your claim; therefore, we strongly advise talking with a lawyer before providing the insurance company blanket medical authorizations.
A pre-existing condition does not preclude you from receiving damages for any aggravation of that condition. Even though an insurance company may attempt to use a pre-existing condition against you, your attorney will show that the accident was responsible for a worsening of the condition or the onset of the condition.
There are several existing conditions that can be made significantly worse by being involved in a car accident. Conditions like a herniated disc, low back strain, healed broken bones, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, knee, and shoulder injuries, and a hernia, along with many others, are medical issues that can be significantly exacerbated during a car accident.
If you had a concussion prior to the accident, then hit your head during the accident, you could now have a more severe traumatic brain injury. You are entitled to compensation for the additional damage sustained during a car accident.
Insurers are not allowed to deny your claim based solely on a pre-existing condition. According to a legal concept called the Eggshell Doctrine, when pre-existing conditions are aggravated by a car accident, you are allowed to receive compensation for your injuries so long as:
- Your pre-existing condition was considered “stable”
- There was no reason to think your condition would become worse prior to the accident.
Under the Eggshell Doctrine, an insurer may not use your pre-existing condition as a means of withholding financial compensation and cannot offer you a lower settlement amount for your injuries.
How Can the Harmonson Law Firm with Offices in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM Help?
At Harmonson Law Firm, we understand how difficult it is to face an unexpected, life-altering injury that was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another individual. We believe that you have enough to deal with and should not have to deal with an insurance company whose only focus is to devalue or deny your claim. At our firm, we ensure our clients come first. We are dedicated to helping good people injured in bad accidents.
Our commitment is to our clients, and, as such, each client receives highly individualized attention. Attorneys Clark Harmonson and Hadley Huchton have inside knowledge of what happens behind the scenes at big insurance companies. This allows Harmonson Law Firm to fight these insurance companies successfully, obtaining the settlement you need and deserve. Contact Harmonson Law Firm for exemplary legal representation following your El Paso or Las Cruces car accident. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.