How Do Pre-Existing Injuries Impact Your Personal Injury Case?
Many individuals experience various types of aches and pains throughout their lives. These discomforts can stem from previous accidents or simply from the natural wear and tear that occurs as our bodies age, commonly known as pre-existing conditions. If an accident exacerbates an existing condition, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. Similarly, if a new accident reawakens a previously resolved injury, you may also pursue a claim. However, it is important to note that you may not be eligible for compensation if the accident does not impact your pre-existing condition or if you have no other injuries according to a personal injury lawyer with our friends at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys.
Common Types Of Pre-existing Conditions
Car accidents, truck collisions, falls on someone’s property, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and product defects have the potential to worsen pre existing injuries, encompassing a wide range of possibilities, including, but not limited to:
- Neck pain;
- Shoulder pain;
- Broken bones;
- Disc herniations and other types of spinal injuries; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and fibromyalgia could potentially exacerbate existing injuries or complicate their treatment.
What Type Of Medical Review Is Required For Aggravation Of Pre-existing Injuries?
Insurance companies typically aim to minimize compensation for injuries caused by their insured’s negligence. They will investigate prior injuries by using interrogatories, depositions, and reviewing medical records. While there are appropriate questions they can ask, as your personal injury attorney, we strive to ensure they do not ask inappropriate ones.
A thorough review of your medical history becomes even more crucial if your new injuries are exacerbations of prior injuries. We will collaborate with your current healthcare providers to determine whether your new back pain, neck pain, spinal cord damage, burns, or other injuries are unrelated to any pre-existing conditions, or if the current accident has worsened those prior injuries. Additionally, apart from consulting your current physicians, we may also reach out to the doctors who previously treated your injuries to gain a comprehensive understanding of your entire medical background.
On occasion, insurance companies may seek an independent medical review to evaluate your current and past injuries. This evaluation aims to establish the relationship between these injuries and the accident, ensuring a comprehensive understanding.
How Are Damages Assessed For My Injuries?
As a standard practice, we seek reimbursement for all medical expenses incurred by our clients to diagnose and treat their existing injuries. These expenses encompass a wide range of necessary healthcare services such as surgeries, rehabilitative care, medications, assistive devices, and other related costs. Additionally, we advocate for compensation for both the physical pain and emotional suffering endured by our clients. It is important to note that these damages are separate from any lost income, property damage, or other eligible compensations.
- From a theoretical standpoint, liable defendants are obligated to compensate for any injuries they have caused. However, the presence of a pre-existing condition or injury can complicate the calculation of damages. While there is no definitive answer or formula to determine how a pre-existing condition will impact the awarded damages, our utmost priority is to attain the maximum recovery permitted by law for our clients. For instance, we can utilize the following approach to demonstrate the defendant’s liability for your injuries: Obtaining comprehensive reports from your current physicians to evaluate the current status of your injuries and pain.
- Demonstrate that your previous injuries have fully healed or that you have completed the treatment.
- Demonstrating your excellent functionality despite pre-existing conditions prior to the recent accident is crucial. This can involve showcasing activities such as work, family time, exercise, and overall enjoyment of life.
- Analyzing and rebutting any reports provided by the defendant’s experts.
In personal injury cases, plaintiffs may suffer injuries that are completely unrelated to any prior injuries. However, when injuries do relate to pre-existing conditions, the pain and suffering can increase exponentially. This is because many victims are forced to endure the trauma of their original injuries resurfacing or worsening, accompanied by the crushing frustration that a terrible chapter they believed was behind them has now returned.
A team of personal injury attorneys is prepared to counter all the arguments put forth by insurance companies and defense lawyers in an attempt to downplay your claim, even when it comes to pre-existing conditions. If you want to explore your entitlement to compensation, including compensation for aggravation of prior injuries, reach out to a lawyer today to schedule a complimentary consultation.