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Holland & Usry, P.A.

Picking Your Battles On Prior Injuries For A Good Settlement

Michelle came to us after a car crash that worsened her chronic migraines and a right shoulder condition. Even though it wasn’t her fault, she felt beat down by her injuries and her fear she’d never be compensated because she had these problems before the crash.

I assured her you can be compensated for worsening of prior conditions if you can prove it. But insurance companies love to hide behind what they call “pre-existing injuries,” using them to deny claims.

Here’s how we helped as her car crash legal team:

  1. Evaluating complex medical evidence. We gathered and I carefully analyzed years of medical records, before and after the crash. This allowed us to gain a clinical understanding of her problems and how crash made them worse.
  2. We helped Michelle pick her battles. Because I saw the migraines weren’t clearly worsened, I discussed with Michelle a strategy of letting that claim go. She agreed. It allowed us to focus on the real problem: her shoulder.
  3. Doctor involvement. To be sure we could clearly prove the shoulder injury, I met with her orthopedic surgeon so he could give his view of injuries caused by the crash. This brief, critical meeting yielded a powerful questionnaire with a simple, powerful YES, the crash required a surgical procedure – a noninvasive shoulder manipulation under anesthesia, where the surgeon moved the joint around to loosen a “frozen shoulder.”
  4.  We never denied the prior injury to the insurance company. In fact, we admitted it. When the insurance company demanded prior medical records about the shoulder, we gladly handed them over with a critical explanation. We used it as a chance to restate our case: The crash worsened Michelle’s shoulder to the point she needed surgery, as shown by her surgeon’s questionnaire.

Armed with this evidence, we got the liability limits of $50,000 plus $12,500 from Michelle’s own policy of underinsurance.

Michelle was thrilled and relieved. We were proud to be part of her case’s success after such a doubtful start for her.

$62,500

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