How are Pre-existing Conditions and No-Fault Benefits Handled?
Not every auto accident victim is in perfect health when the crash happens. But just because you were seeing a doctor before the accident doesn’t mean you will be cut off from no-fault benefits. Find out how pre-existing conditions can affect your auto insurance claims.
What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is any physical or mental health condition requiring treatment that exists before the accident happens. Some common pre-existing conditions include:
- Neck and back conditions from bad posture or workplace injuries’
- Depression, anxiety, and other chronic mental health conditions
- Chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure
Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered Under No-Fault?
The Michigan No-Fault Act requires your auto insurance provider to pay benefits for injuries that result from the use of a motor vehicle. This can include traditional auto accidents, whether you were the driver or a passenger, pedestrians struck by cars, and bicycle accidents.
The specific injury must be the result of the collision. If you had a pre-existing condition prior to the accident, your auto insurance company will likely deny your claim, saying the injury did not result from the crash. For example:
Maria has a degenerative problem in her hip. As she was crossing the street, she was struck by a car and knocked to the ground. When she filed an auto insurance claim, she asked for benefits related to treating her hip. Her insurance company will likely refuse to pay for any hip-related treatments, because of her degenerative disease.
Aggravated Injuries Count
A prior diagnosis doesn’t completely cut off no-fault benefits. Many chronic conditions can be severely aggravated by the physical and emotional trauma of an auto accident. If your condition gets worse because of the crash, you can be compensated for that aggravation. For example:
Daniel sees a therapist monthly because of generalized anxiety. After his car crash, his normal medications and behavioral therapy aren’t enough. He begins to see his therapist weekly and doubles his dosage of anti-anxiety medication. The insurance company won’t pay for the regular monthly visits or daily medication. But the extra visits and pills can be included in his auto insurance claim.
Proving Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injuries
If you had any pre-existing injuries before your car crash, make sure to tell your auto accident attorney. A skilled no-fault lawyer can work with you and your doctors to build a case for aggravated injury benefits, and get you the compensation you need for your added medical bills.
Far too often, car crash victims will hide their pre-existing conditions from lawyers and even their own doctors. But your medical history will come out in the course of the lawsuit. If you are found to be hiding a pre-existing condition it will be harder for your lawyer to help you later on.
At Christensen Law, our experienced auto accident attorneys will help you understand how your pre-existing injury plays in to your claim for no-fault benefits. Contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.