If you have ever been in an auto accident, you probably felt the effects of the crash for days or even weeks after the fact. Car accidents, obviously, can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, spine and neck injuries, and head trauma. But what if you had already been diagnosed with a particular condition and your accident made your pre-existing condition worse? Should you be entitled to recover the costs of treating the new version of an old condition? This exact question was recently put before a jury in Middletown Superior Court.
A Summary of Facts
In August of 2014, a man from Old Saybrook, Connecticut, was driving on a road in Cape May County, New Jersey when he came to a stop in a line of traffic. Without warning, his vehicle was struck from behind by another car, throwing him violently forward. The driver of the second vehicle was found to be at fault for the crash, but her bodily injury liability coverage maxed out at $15,000—an amount insufficient to cover the Connecticut man’s injuries.
The man, fortunately, carried $250,000 of underinsured motorist coverage on his own policy, but when he filed a claim, his carrier was unwilling to cover all of his bills. The insurance company maintained that the man suffered from arthritis and that his persistent neck and back pain were caused by the underlying condition, not by the accident. The man filed suit in Connecticut against his carrier, and the case was heard by a six-person jury in June of this year.
Valuable Medical Testimony
The man and his doctor testified at trial that while he did, in fact, have arthritis, he had never experienced constant pain as a symptom of that condition. The pain was never present until the accident occurred. Their claims were bolstered by video testimony from an orthopedic specialist who had reviewed the man’s medical records. The orthopedic doctor indicated that the man’s pain was a direct result of the accident and all of the treatment he received was reasonable and necessary.
After a brief deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the man in the amount of $199,843. According to the man’s attorney, the carrier had offered settlements prior to trial, but no offer exceeded $44,000.
Building Your Case
When you suffer from any type of physical condition that affects your daily living, there is the possibility that the condition could be exacerbated if you are in an auto accident. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to tell for certain what difference the accident may have had on your condition. In cases like these, medical evidence is crucial. Your medical record contains a detailed history of your diagnoses, treatment, and progress in managing your condition, and a qualified medical professional can determine how your condition was affected by accident. Sometimes, an outside expert may be asked to provide an objective summary of your case.
If you have been injured in any type of auto accident and have questions about obtaining the compensation you deserve, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Connecticut. Call [[phone1]] for a free, no-obligation consultation today.