When an injury occurs due to another person’s fault, you are entitled to damages under the West Virginia personal injury laws.
Your attorney can strengthen the case by having an accident reconstruction expert in place quickly to inspect the accident site and the vehicles involved and perform a professional analysis. A skilled attorney will also explain the factors involved in your right to compensation if your pre-existing conditions made the injuries worse.
West Virginia Insurance Companies Never Fight Fair
Insurance companies are known to fight truck accident claims involving pre-existing conditions. Don’t assume that you are not entitled to compensation if you suffer from an existing medical condition or injury.
The insurance adjuster that calls you may lead you to believe that you are not entitled to any compensation. Make sure you understand the types of damages you can claim for. Don’t delay in speaking with a personal injury attorney following your truck accident.
Disclosing a Pre-Existing Condition
Often, insurance adjusters request a medical records release form from accident victims. This form essentially gives access to the insurance company to go through your entire medical history.
The company will search for prior accidents and pre-existing conditions. This information will most likely be used by the insurance company to argue that your current injury was not caused by the truck accident.
You would then need to prove to the company that your current injury occurred or became worse because of the truck accident. However, hiding a pre-existing condition is not recommended.
The insurance carrier may argue that you purposely hid the condition or injury. They may allege that you are untrustworthy when you testify about your injuries and pain and suffering.
A trusted truck accident attorney will know the best way to disclose any pre-existing injuries or conditions. They will also protect you from underhanded insurance tactics aimed at denying or undervaluing the injury claim.
Dealing With Insurance Companies When You Have a Pre-Existing Injury or Condition
It can be challenging to work with insurance companies when you already have a pre-existing condition. You should consult with your attorney before giving a statement, answering questions, or signing any documents.
These are a few tactics that insurance companies generally use in West Virginia to avoid paying fair compensation:
- Keep you from getting an attorney: The claims adjuster may tell you that the company accepts full responsibility for the injuries and that you don’t need to consult with a lawyer. Such statements are designed to keep you from seeking legal advice and place you at a disadvantage.
- Obtain medical history: The claims adjuster may try to get you to sign the medical release form. They may say it is a routine step towards releasing your money. In fact, the company is looking for pre-existing conditions that undermine your claim.
- Ask you for a recorded statement: The claims adjuster may ask you for a recorded statement. They are trained to ask leading questions to obtain responses that place claimants at a disadvantage. The interview is conducted as ‘small talk’ between two friends to put claimants at ease.
- Quick settlement: Insurance companies routinely offer quick settlements where they believe they could be liable for a huge sum. The settlement offer is designed to entice you to sign the agreement and waive away your right to any future claims. Always speak with a truck accident attorney before signing any settlement offers.
Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine in West Virginia
The legal theory of eggshell plaintiff requires defendants to accept the accident victims in an “as is” condition. The victim cannot be blamed for their prior injuries or pre-existing conditions.
You have the legal right to recover compensation if the truck accident aggravated any pre-existing conditions. In addition, you have the right to obtain compensation for all injuries – even those which occurred as a result of the pre-existing condition.
These are a few examples of pre-existing conditions:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Prior fractures and broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Brain damage and concussions
- High blood pressure
Pre-existing conditions can make a personal injury lawsuit complicated. The insurance company, in all likelihood, will do everything it can to avoid paying your claim. Seasoned personal injury attorneys can help you take the right steps to ensure that your claim is not denied and you receive fair compensation.
Contact an Experienced West Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
The truck accident lawyers at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. are highly experienced in taking on at-fault trucking companies and their insurers. Our team possesses the necessary legal skills to help you recover the compensation you rightfully deserve.
We work diligently on behalf of our clients and have an outstanding track record of settlements and verdicts. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 800-497-0234 or fill out this online contact form.