Factors Insurance Companies Consider When Evaluating an Oregon Personal Injury/Auto Accident Claim – Part Nine – Pre-Existing Condition

This blog is intended to clarify how an insurance company should treat a personal injury claim that involves a pre-existing condition or injury. In short, a company should add value to a claim – not subtract it – when the claim involves a pre-existing condition that is documented in a meticulous fashion. Otherwise, the common rumor does hold true – that an insurance company will greatly devalue, or even refuse, a claim that involves a pre-existing condition. An experienced Oregon personal injury attorney can help you, document by document, to build maximum value for your case when a pre-existing condition is present.

Quite often, people are at a disadvantage in pursuing their own claims because they lack ready access to the letter of the law that may govern the claim. Oregon law clearly provides for damages to be paid if negligence results in an aggravation to a pre-existing condition or injury.

The Oregon Uniform Jury Instruction for “pre-existing condition” states as follows:

“In the present case, the plaintiff has alleged that the injury which she sustained as the result of the negligence of the defendant aggravated a pre-existing injury …. In determining the amount of damages, if any, to be awarded the plaintiff in this case, you will allow her reasonable compensation for the consequences of any such aggravation that you find to have taken place as the result of defendant’s negligence.”

If you have a pre-existing condition, you must document it properly to obtain a fair settlement. An experienced Oregon Personal Injury attorney regularly works with treating physicians and insurance companies to document these conditions. Make sure you talk with a personal injury lawyer if you suspect you’re not being treated fairly because of a pre-existing condition.


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