How Does A Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Case?

Published by grandelaw on

There is a huge misconception about how pre-existing injuries affect personal injury cases. Many people think that having a pre-existing injury makes your case null and void. Nothing can be farther from the truth. It is still possible to make a claim and get compensated. In certain cases, a pre-existing condition can help your personal injury claim.

What is a pre-existing injury?

A pre-existing condition is some medical or health condition you had before an incident or occurrence that you claim caused you a personal injury. This includes medical conditions such as back, shoulder, or neck pain. Suppose that is the same sort of complaint that you have after the accident that triggered your claim.

Any condition you had before the accident is considered a pre-existing condition if it affected the same parts of your body that you are complaining about in the accident.

Sometimes, you do not need pre-existing injuries to be injured in a light car accident. You may be angled weirdly, making a particular part of your body pop. However, in situations where everything is normal, it is a low-impact case.

However, on other occasions, your pre-existing condition may have predisposed you to more severe injuries during the current incident that triggered the injuries you are suing for. Those are some of the considerations that an insurance company will take into account. They will also affect whether the insurer will cover your entire case or a part of it. That is, the considerations can make or break the difference between a case.

Insurance companies usually break down low-impact cases where there is no damage to your car and the defendant’s car and give very little compensation.

How can a pre-existing injury affect your case?

Let’s assume you were involved in a car accident and you were complaining of neck pain. You had the injury before the accident. If you had been to the doctor, say six months or possibly a year ago, also complaining of neck pain, then that creates a situation where the defense attorney might try to claim that the accident did not cause your injury. However, just because you had a previous injury or previous neck complaint is not always bad for your case.

What are the benefits of a pre-existing injury to your case?

A pre-existing condition is not always the end of your case. The most important thing is to inform your attorney everything about your injury from the beginning. Let your attorney pull those medical records and review the facts of your medical history to determine what effect, if any, they will have on your present injury case. Let your doctors know what your previous medical history is so that they can properly document your injuries and plan for your treatment. For this reason, it is essential to consult with a care provider every time you get an injury.

The critical thing that will change the fate of your claim is having evidence concerning your pre-existing injury. Many people think that pre-existing injuries hurt their case. That may be true in some situations, but there are instances where pre-existing injuries will help out your case. The situation where this comes into play is ‘low impact’ cases, especially when it is difficult to prove that the current incident caused your injuries. This will leave your attorney with the burden of proof to show that indeed, the incident left you in significant pain.

This might be easier if, for instance, you have medical records or other documentation which proves that you just had back surgery the previous year and being hit tweaked your neck. You are more predisposed and aggravated to a pre-existing injury, but you will receive compensation if you were not actively experiencing pain just before the incident, even though you had pain in the past.

What is the importance of medical records in personal injury cases?

If you had a pre-existing condition and went in to see a doctor about it, there would be some sort of baseline that the court could look at to determine whether or not the accident made your injury worse. This situation is referred to as aggravation of a pre-existing condition and is just as compensable as any other injury.

It makes the case so much easier if you have the documentation to prove it. Therefore, in those situations, it makes sense to be forthright with your whole situation and give the insurance company your medical records.

Clients with pre-existing injuries should therefore not be afraid to claim compensation for personal injury incidents. Their situation can even help their case and make it a lot more favorable. It is also critical to have information concerning personal injury law to know how to go about your case. Also, having skilled and experienced representation in court is another way to enhance the success of your case.

If you have been in a car accident or other incident that left you gravely injured, contact a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer to get professional help. They will review your case and assist you to get the compensation you deserve.

Author Bio

Louis W. Grande is a Providence personal injury lawyer who founded his Rhode Island law firm of the same name in 2010. With more than 32 years of experience practicing law, he has successfully represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, premise liability, dog bites, medical malpractice, product liability, and other personal injury actions.

Louis received his Juris Doctor from the Hamline University School of Law and is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded Lifetime Achievement in 2017 by America’s Top 100 Attorneys and being named among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers in 2017.

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