What is the impact of past medical history on injury claims?

  • Posted

Posted 24/04/2012

When a defendant insurer is forced to admit that their driver was at fault following a road traffic accident in which someone else has suffered serious injuries, the insurer will often try investigating the victim’s pre accident medical history to try to persuade a Court that the new injuries will make very little difference to the individual’s future earning capacity.This tactic was adopted on a case recently concluded by Richard Foyster, a personal injury specialist at Ashtons Legal’s Felixstowe Office. His client, aged 62, had suffered a heart attack three years before his road accident, had suffered from various other health related issues, and had undergone treatment for cancer. Despite the fact that he had suffered serious injuries in the road traffic accident, the defendant insurers initially offered him only ?100,000 to conclude his compensation claim, despite the fact that it was unlikely that he would ever be able to work again because of the severity of his injuries. They based this offer on arguments that the health issues relating to the previous problems with the heart and cancer would probably have re-surfaced in the absence of the accident.Richard was able to obtain medical evidence which robustly rejected such suggestions and was eventually able to settle his client’s claim for ?225,000.This serves to illustrate that a past history of medical problems should not, in itself, prohibit a badly injured individual from seeking fair and proper compensation following an accident of this nature.


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