Q I was recently hurt in a car accident, but the insurance company denied my claim due to a pre-existing injury. What should I do?
One of the most frustrating things a personal injury lawyer deals with on a daily basis is the business of insurance. While people send money to their insurance companies each month as a guarantee of sorts that they will be covered in the event of an accident, insurers keep their purse strings tight when it comes to claims and are often reluctant to pay out the benefits their customers pay for.
Insurance companies will often find any excuse to pay you the lowest amount possible. As a business, the more money they pay out in claims the worse their margins become, so insurers will look for any number of reasons to lower your settlement amount or deny it altogether. One of their favorite go-to excuses for a denial is what you have experienced—a pre-existing condition that is related to your new injuries.
One of the most important reasons to speak with an attorney before speaking with the insurance company is that your claims adjuster will likely ask you several questions that could force your hand when it comes to divulging a pre-existing condition. Say you injured your neck years ago, and had minor surgery on it to correct the problem. In your recent car accident, you suffered whiplash that injured your neck—suddenly, the insurance company sees an “out” and will use that as an excuse to deny your claim.
This does not, however, mean that you have no hope of obtaining the compensation you deserve for your new injuries. With the right medical and legal team, you can prove the validity of your claim and obtain compensation for the damage your new injury caused. The insurance company assumes that a denial will be a quick way to brush your claim aside, but any additional injury you suffered as the result of their negligence is a claim worth pursuing.
If you are having a difficult time with your auto injury claim because of a pre-existing condition, our New Jersey auto accident injury firm can help—contact our office today to learn more and to schedule your own free consultation.