Many people think that a pre-existing condition will prevent them from achieving a fair result in a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. I wrote this article to correct that misconception and put your mind at ease. South Carolina's personal injury laws are intended to place you back in the position you enjoyed prior to the accident. Therefore, if an accident worsened your health, increased your pain, caused you to incur new medical bills, or forced you to miss time from work, you have the right to recover, regardless of your pre-existing conditions.
For example, many seniors suffer from various health problems. However, when our seniors get in auto accidents or become victims of nursing home neglect, their health often worsens. They may not have been in great shape before the accident, but that does not mean the elderly receive no protection from the law. In these cases, our seniors are entitled to payment for all medical expenses and other losses they would not have incurred “but for” the other party’s negligence. The same truth applies to every injured person in South Carolina with a pre-existing condition. Remember that under our law, the defendant takes you as he finds you, and is responsible for every problem he causes or makes worse.
Likewise, South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws do not punish employees for their pre-existing conditions. The law expressly provides that an injured worker may recover benefits if the pre-existing condition was aggravated by a work-injury.
I understand that many South Carolinians fear disclosing a pre-existing condition in their job applications. However, if you commit “fraud in the application” you may not be able to receive benefits for your on-the-job injury. It can be a double-edged sword, though between deceit and honesty, the choice is clear.
While insurance adjusters and others may want you to believe they can treat you unfairly or pay pennies on the dollar because of your prior health conditions, I am here to tell you that our personal injury and workers' comp laws say otherwise. I have helped many people across South Carolina with life-changing injury cases, and would be honored to serve you as well. To learn more, simply call my office, request free copies of my books, and receive a free consultation.