Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 21-02-2014
Recovering from a motor vehicle accident can be a very lengthy and challenging experience, even under the best of circumstances. However, if you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition and you fail to disclose it to your healthcare provider, or if your provider otherwise fails to identify it, you’re likely to find your road to recovery significantly more complicated. In fact, because both your treatment/recovery plan and your insurance company settlement are likely to be insufficient for supporting your actual recovery needs, you may well find your overall experience to be even more traumatic and damaging than the accident itself. A pre-existing injury or medical condition, such as a sprain, strain, metabolic or other condition, can affect your recovery in three key ways: IMPACTS THE NUMBER & NATURE OF INJURIES SUSTAINED: First, a pre-existing injury or medical condition can affect the number and nature of injuries you might sustain during the accident. Even if there’s no direct physical contact with the previously injured area during the collision, your pre-existing injury can still be re-injured or made more severe by the accident. If there is direct physical trauma to the same location as your pre-existing injury, the resulting new injury can be significantly different than it might otherwise have been. IMPACTS THE NATURE & DURATION OF TREATMENT NEEDED: Second, a pre-existing injury or medical condition can affect the types of therapies and the number of sessions prescribed as part of your treatment/recovery plan. Depending on the nature of your pre-existing injury or condition, certain types of treatments, therapies or protocols may be more difficult or even dangerous to administer. Also, given that a pre-existing injury or condition can impact the number and nature of injuries you might sustain during an accident, you are likely going to need more time and more treatments in order to recover than you would have needed otherwise. IMPACTS THE INSURANCE COMPENSATION PROVIDED: Third, the identification of a pre-existing injury or medical condition can affect how much financial compensation you’re able to obtain from your insurance company to help support your recovery. Insurance settlements are based, in part, on the nature of the treatment/recovery plan the company receives from your healthcare provider. Because your treatment/recovery plan is based on the level of understanding your provider has of your injuries and your related requirements for making a full recovery, failing to identify a pre-existing injury or condition can result in an inadequate treatment/recovery plan and an insufficient level of compensation from your insurance company to support your complete recovery. Although your pre-existing injury or condition is likely to be uncovered after treatment begins, either because your treatment results in unexpected adverse effects or because it’s simply ineffective, getting additional funds from your insurance company after the initial plan has already been approved can be very difficult. There’s no question that recovering from a motor vehicle accident injury can be a complex and challenging process. However, if you’ve been in an accident and have a pre-existing injury or medical condition, you owe it to yourself to make sure that your chosen healthcare provider has a detailed and thorough understanding of all aspects of your injury or condition. Otherwise, you’re just putting your own recovery at risk - and you deserve better! If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact us immediately for a comprehensive medical assessment. We’ll also arrange for a free legal consultation, to help with processing your claim and supporting your recovery.