How Pre-Existing Conditions May Affect Car Accident Claims

Posted: January 15, 2021

Woman with pre-existing neck pain injuryIf you have been injured in a car accident, there is a chance that you may have a pre-existing medical condition. For example, you may have had a back injury or some other condition before the accident. Maybe the accident made your condition worse. If your pre-existing condition was impacted by the accident, this may help determine how you are compensated for any injuries you suffer.

Pre-existing conditions can exacerbate injuries suffered in a car accident and lead to longer recovery periods. A previous back or neck injury can be aggravated in an accident and contribute to your overall condition. In turn, your overall recovery may be impacted, including whether you have long-term range of motion loss.

In general, someone injured due to the negligence of another is not entitled to receive payment for injuries and conditions that were not caused by the at-fault person. However, the injured person may be entitled to receive compensation for pre-existing conditions to the degree that the accident made their pre-existing condition worse. This is known as exacerbation or aggravation of pre-existing conditions. Accident victims may be able to receive compensation for physical injuries as well as mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

If you have been injured and are seeking compensation, you’ll likely face questions concerning any pre-existing conditions. Your attorney will try to determine the degree to which your pre-existing conditions were made worse by the accident, while the opposing side may try to blame everything on your pre-existing conditions.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Some common pre-existing injuries that can be made worse by an accident include back problems, brain injuries, and broken or fractured bones. Back issues due to disc problems or even arthritis can be made worse in a car accident as can traumatic brain injuries suffered before the accident.

If you have pre-existing conditions, you should not be discouraged from seeking compensation for your injuries. In many cases, an injury victim who has received regular medical treatment will have an easier time producing concrete evidence of their medical history compared to someone who has not seen a doctor in several years.

Determining the extent to which your pre-existing condition has been aggravated by an accident will depend on an array of factors, including any diagnostic studies taken before and after the accident. Thorough and complete medical records are an asset in car accident claims.

On the other hand, insurance companies looking to pay as little as possible in terms of injury claims, will often go through your prior medical records to show that the accident had little impact on your health.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer May Be Able to Help

If you suffered from a pre-existing condition before your personal injury, scheduling a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney is often a good idea. When you meet with your attorney, it is essential to be completely honest about your health and pre-existing conditions. If there is information that may complicate your claim, it is best to let your attorney know about the condition.

Car accident claims can be complicated by pre-existing conditions, but they are still often worth pursuing. An experienced personal injury attorney, like those at William Mattar law offices, can help you put your case together and put you in a position to receive maximum compensation.


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