Can I get a fair accident recovery if I have pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you can still get a fair personal injury accident recovery even if you have pre-existing conditions. However, you should anticipate the insurance company’s or defendant’s argument that your current medical issues are caused by your pre-existing medical conditions and not your accident injuries.

What the Law Says About Accident Compensation

Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois personal injury laws allow people to recover for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. These injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • New injuries suffered in the accident. Your accident injuries may have nothing to do with your pre-existing medical conditions, and you should recover completely for any new injury. Some people, however, are more susceptible to injuries than others. These people are known as “eggshell plaintiffs” and may still recover compensation for their injuries.
  • Existing medical conditions made worse by the accident. If your injuries were aggravated by the accident, then you should recover damages for your change in medical condition that would not have happened but for the accident. Pre-existing conditions may include, but are not limited to, injuries from previous accidents, chronic conditions such as arthritis, decreased bone density, and mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.

In either scenario, you should receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain and suffering that were caused by the accident.

How to Protect Your Accident Recovery

Even if the insurance company or defendant admits liability, the amount of compensation may be contested. Insurance companies often try to reduce the fair recoveries of eggshell plaintiffs or plaintiffs with pre-existing conditions by arguing that the accident did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries. However, the insurance company or defendant cannot argue that you should have been in better health or taken better care of yourself to prevent an accident injury.

Therefore, medical evidence is critical to your settlement or court verdict. We encourage you not to release medical records or provide statements to the insurance company before consulting a personal injury attorney.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case, including your medical records and fight for your just recovery. Insurance companies know that we mean business and that we won’t settle our clients’ claims for less than a fair recovery, even if our clients have pre-existing conditions.

Call us or complete our contact form to have us contact you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your accident recovery.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.