Every Ohio personal injury claim has its own unique circumstances and concerns. In many of them, your medical history is going to one of the primary issues that might stand between you and the settlement that you’re seeking. Your medical history could include pre-existing conditions or prior drug use or addiction, for example.
These things can be used against you to minimize or deny your Ohio personal injury claim. However, if you have the assistance and guidance of a skilled Ohio personal injury attorney, you have a much better chance of receiving the compensation that you deserve, even if pre-existing injuries or past drug use happen to factor into your claim.
The Effect of Pre-Existing Conditions on Your Personal Injury Claim
Whether or not (and how much) a pre-existing condition is going to impact your personal injury claim depends on a few different factors and how the case is handled. There will be a discovery phase in your claim, during which the defense will research your medical history and look for pre-existing conditions. The most common ones are back injuries, neck injuries, and head injuries, though various other injuries and symptoms may be relevant to your claim. Even if you do have pre-existing conditions, you can still receive compensation for your injuries, whether they are entirely new injuries, or whether they aggravated a pre-existing condition.
In some cases, you may have a pre-existing condition that did not actually cause you any pain or prevent you from completing any tasks or enjoying your life. If your new injury aggravated this kind of pre-existing condition to a point where it now causes distress or prevents you from living your life to the fullest, then you should be able to receive a fair settlement or judgment to compensate you for the change in your condition.
The Effect of Prior Drug Use on Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have a history of drug use or prescription medication abuse, then this is something else that might impact the value of your personal injury claim. Even if you were not on drugs at the time of the incident, the defense can use your history of drug use to suggest that you might have been influenced by drugs or alcohol, that this is the sort of poor decision that you were likely to make, and that your personal injury claim should be denied because of this. They also know that a history of drug use makes a jury less likely to sympathize with or side with you.
The Importance of Honesty in a Personal Injury Claim
Whether your medical history includes pre-existing medical conditions or a record of drug use or prescription medication abuse, it is essential to be honest with your attorney when pursuing a personal injury claim. If the defense finds out that you’ve been lying to them and to the insurance companies, then this can be a huge detractor in your claim. That doesn’t mean that you should divulge this information to the defense’s insurance company. In fact, you should say as little as possible to the defense’s insurance company until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
The important thing is to make sure that your attorney knows about your history, so that the lawyer is better prepared when it comes to honestly representing you and the true facts of your case. The worst thing that you can do is to damage your credibility by lying and put your attorney in a position where something entirely unexpected completely changes the case.
The Motives of the Insurance Company
You need to make a point of understanding the motives of insurance companies and claims adjusters. They want to maximize their profits, minimize the value of your settlement, and/or avoid paying the value of your claim at all. They are not worried about your own personal wellness or the suffering that you’ve endured. They are worried about their own bottom line. You should expect them to attempt to delay your claim, deny your claim, or pressure you to settle early on for an amount that is far less than what your claim is worth.
What an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Can Do For Your Claim
Whatever the unique circumstances and history of your claim, your medical conditions, or any past drug use, an Ohio personal injury attorney in Columbus can fight to ensure that you are more than just a number. Your lawyer will protect your rights and give you the necessary guidance to maximize the value of your personal injury claim. Contact the Chester Law Group today for a free consultation, and to get started on your claim for fair compensation.