In the unfortunate event of a car accident, the consequences can extend beyond immediate physical injuries. Individuals with pre-existing conditions face a unique challenge: proving the accident exacerbated their existing health issues and securing proper compensation.
Navigating the legal complexities of such situations requires careful consideration and understanding of relevant laws and strategies. Our Douglasville car accident lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Car Accident Claims and Pre-Existing Conditions
Fortunately, Georgia law protects individuals with pre-existing conditions through the Eggshell Skull Doctrine. This legal principle states that the negligent party is responsible for the full extent of your injuries, regardless of any pre-existing vulnerabilities.
In essence, they are liable for taking you “as you are,” with all your existing health concerns. This means that even if your pre-existing condition made you more susceptible to injury or contributed to the severity of your damages, the at-fault party is still responsible for the full impact of the accident.
Deadline for a Georgia Car Accident Case
While the Eggshell Skull Doctrine provides legal protection, there are limitations to consider. The Georgia Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is two years (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33). This means you must initiate legal action within two years of the accident date to seek compensation. Failure to do so within the stipulated timeframe can result in your claim being barred.
Building a Strong Case
Successfully proving that your pre-existing condition was aggravated by the accident is crucial to securing compensation. This requires meticulous documentation and evidence gathering. Here are the key elements of a strong case.
- Gather extensive medical records, both before and after the accident. Highlight any documented changes in the severity or progression of your pre-existing condition following the collision.
- Obtain detailed reports from your doctor outlining the nature and extent of your injuries, specifically linking them to the accident’s impact.
Your lawyer may consult with a medical expert specializing in your pre-existing condition. Their expert opinion can establish a direct link between the accident and the worsening of your condition.
The expert can also provide valuable insights into the future course of treatment and potential long-term effects of the accident on your pre-existing condition.
If anyone witnessed the accident, their statements can corroborate your account and provide crucial details about the impact and severity of the collision. Witness statements can also help establish the negligent actions of the other party, strengthening your overall claim.
The official police report documenting the accident details serves as vital evidence. Ensure it accurately reflects the events leading up to the collision and the extent of the damage caused.
Prior Medical Bills and Records
Gather documentation of any prior medical treatment related to your pre-existing condition. This will help establish the baseline severity of your pre-existing condition and demonstrate the accident’s specific impact.
Navigating Insurance Claims With Legal Representation
Insurance companies often resist claims involving pre-existing conditions, attempting to minimize their liability. This is where seeking legal representation from a Douglasville personal injury attorney becomes crucial.
Benefits of Legal Representation
- Comprehensive Case Evaluation: An experienced attorney will thoroughly assess your case, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and outlining a clear strategy for pursuing compensation.
- Evidence Gathering and Organization: Attorneys have expertise in gathering and organizing evidence to effectively support your claim, ensuring no crucial details are overlooked.
- Negotiation and Settlement: Skilled attorneys can negotiate aggressively with insurance companies on your behalf, maximizing your chances of securing fair compensation.
- Litigation Expertise: If necessary, your attorney will represent you in court, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
In addition to medical expenses associated with the accident’s impact on your pre-existing condition, you may also be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages due to missed work
- Reduced earning capacity if your pre-existing condition limitations worsen
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Call Our Douglasville Car Accident Lawyers Today!
If you have suffered a car accident and believe it has exacerbated your pre-existing condition, you have rights. Don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel from a qualified Douglasville personal injury attorney at Harley Rowe & Fowler. We will guide you through the legal complexities and fight for the compensation you deserve.