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Filing a Claim with a Pre-Existing Condition in Massachusetts

At a certain age we all have areas of our body that ail us. However, having a pre-existing condition can make filing a personal injury claim much more complex. A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that started before the accident in question took place. What happens though when you are in an accident that aggravates a pre-existing condition?

When filing a personal injury claim, an insurance company will often argue that that they should not have to pay for any condition that was present prior to the accident. It is important to remember that you can only receive compensation if the accident aggravated your pre-existing condition, and you cannot claim benefits for the original injury. Massachusetts law holds negligent parties responsible for any harm that they cause. Accident victims with pre-existing conditions are protected under a law known as the eggshell doctrine. The eggshell doctrine states that a negligent party must take the accident victim as he or she finds them. This means that even if the injured party is more susceptible to injury than the average person, they are still protected under the law.

An underlying pre-existing condition may be an injury from a previous accident, a disease, or just the natural effects of the aging process. Pre-existing conditions often fall into two categories; inactive and active. An inactive pre-existing condition is one that was not showing any symptoms at the time of the accident. A person could have a pre-existing condition and not even be aware of it. Even a pre-existing condition that shows no symptoms can leave a person vulnerable to attacks from the insurance company.

claim with a pre-existing condition

The second type is called an active pre-existing condition, as it is actively being treated at the time of the accident. For active pre-existing conditions, it is important to have your doctor determine how the accident has worsened your symptoms. Common examples of pre-existing medical conditions include: Neck injuries, soft tissue injuries, back strains, arthritis, healed broken bones, degenerative disk disease and arthritis.

Your medical records are crucial in proving that your condition was aggravated by the accident. It is important that you receive medical treatment for the injury as soon as possible. It is best to see the medical providers who were treating you prior to the accident in order to show the progression of your symptoms. Detailed medical records will provide evidence of your condition before the accident, as well as how your condition has worsened since the accident. Your attorney can also work with your doctor to obtain expert testimony to help prove your case.

In addition to documenting the physical changes caused by your injury with diagnostic tests such as X-Rays or MRI’s, it is also important to show any lifestyle changes that may have occurred after the accident. This can include such things as missing time from work, hobbies, recreational activities and exercise. It will be important to document that you had no issues doing any of these activities prior to the accident.

As you work with your personal injury attorney it is important that you are honest about your medical history. It may seem tempting to hide a pre-existing condition, but this is one of the worst things you could do. The omission could damage your credibility. It is important to remember that proving aggravation of a pre-existing condition will not only require medical evidence, but will also require the plaintiff’s own credible testimony.

While the insurance company may try to use your pre-existing condition as an excuse not to pay, you are entitled to fair compensation for the aggravation of your condition. By getting help from an experience personal injury attorney, you can help to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.


At DelSignore Law we have helped filed claims for individuals dealing with a pre-existing condition. We understand the challenges you face and are here to offer help and handle your case through completion. We pride ourselves in fighting zealously for our clients to ensure you get what is owed to you. Contact us today at 781-686-5924 for a confidential and complimentary review of your case. While on our website, you can learn more about the personal injury claims.

Client Reviews
Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him Ashwani
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! He was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
I cannot express the gratitude towards Michael for his amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael over and over again. Claire