Pre-existing injuries and health issues can complicate a liability claim, but these obstacles can be overcome with the help of a medical expert, as they were in a recent case of ours. Our client, a nineteen-year-old young woman, was on the way to visit family in Portland, Oregon with her mother. In a frightening chain of events, another driver ran a red light and hit the passenger side of the car, where she was sitting. In addition to the usual auto accident injuries, the wreck aggravated a pre-existing condition. Since infancy, our client had suffered from seizures. Prior to the accident – and for the first time in her life – her seizures were under relatively good control, due to a new medical treatment and a strict diet. She was even studying to get her own driver’s license. After the accident, unfortunately, her seizures came back and happened more frequently and with more severity than they ever had before.
In the midst of her and her family’s distress at having the seizures return, the at-fault driver’s insurance company fought the claim aggressively, arguing that she had always had the seizure disorder and that the wreck hadn’t contributed to its worsening. To complicate matters even further, our client’s long-time doctor told her that he believed the seizures were exacerbated by the accident, but he didn’t want to put it in her official medical records or support her legal claims. At this point, unsure of where to turn, our client decided to contact a Portland, Oregon auto accident attorney to help her fight the insurance company.
After taking her case, I searched out and reviewed the medical literature at length and contacted several experts regarding epilepsy and whiplash injuries. We eventually located a seizure expert who was willing to review her records and consult on her case. We were able to go into mediation with a medical expert on our side. After mediation, the insurance company offered a sizeable settlement for our client – likely a direct result of our efforts to secure a medical expert. Our client was very happy that she had made the decision to contact a Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorney at Dwyer Williams Potter.