Pre-Existing Injuries and Personal Injury Cases
You're in a car accident, and you're injured. But you already have a pre-existing injury. Now what? Time to get answers from a car accident lawyer.
How a pre-existing injury can affect compensation for new injuries?
Perhaps the most important aspect of a personal injury case is proving causation. In other words, the injured person must prove that the injuries they have suffered were actually caused by the accident itself. This can be difficult if there are pre-existing conditions that may have contributed to a particular set of injuries. While these conditions may complicate the case, it certainly does not bar someone from recovering money. An attorney can review the facts of your case and any previous injuries you may have had to determine what kind of impact they may have on your case.
Pre-existing Injury Examples
Here are a few examples of how a pre-existing injury can affect compensation for new injuries:
- Aggravated injuries: If a new accident aggravates a pre-existing injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the full extent of your injuries, including the aggravated portion.
- New injuries to the same body part: If you sustain a new injury to the same body part as a pre-existing injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the new injury, but the insurance company may try to argue that the new injury was caused by the pre-existing condition.
- New injuries to a different body part: If you sustain a new injury to a different body part than a pre-existing injury, you are generally entitled to compensation for the new injury, even if the pre-existing condition makes the new injury more painful or difficult to treat.
Pre-existing injuries, insurance, and accidents: What you need to know
In general, the insurance company for the at-fault party will try to minimize your compensation for new injuries, and they may argue that your pre-existing condition is to blame. This is why it is important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you prove causation and obtain the full compensation you deserve.
Here are some tips for protecting your rights if you have a pre-existing injury and you have been injured in a new accident:
- Seek medical attention immediately: It is important to see a doctor right away after an accident, even if you do not feel that you are seriously injured. This will help to establish a medical record of your injuries and ensure that you get the treatment you need.
- Be honest with your doctor: Be sure to tell your doctor about your pre-existing injuries. This will help them to accurately diagnose your new injuries and determine if they have been aggravated by the accident.
- Keep a copy of your medical records: Get copies of all of your medical records related to the accident. This will be helpful if you need to file a personal injury claim.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect your interests. They can also help you to gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
If you have been injured in an accident and you have a pre-existing injury, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect your interests.
Pre-existing injuries do not excuse negligence
Let us explore an example, assume someone is involved in a car accident and injures their back. If they had back surgery three years prior, it might be relevant to the case, but the injuries would still stand on their own. Just because someone might have a weak back or be prone to injuries there does not change the fact that a car accident itself was what led to these specific injuries.
The details of your accident and injuries will determine the amount you may be able to recover.
Get a doctor's opinion early to strengthen your personal injury case
Ultimately, a doctor will be needed to testify about your injuries, their cause, and any other factors that might impact your award. A doctor’s medical opinion is vital to the case because they are the only ones who can definitively state just what caused these injuries. A personal injury attorney can make sure that you see a doctor and get the treatment you need immediately after an accident. If you wait too long to see a doctor, it may be more difficult to prove causation and more difficult to ultimately achieve a positive result for your case.
Talk To A Lawyer
At Johnson Law, we can work to make sure you get proper compensation for your injuries. Even if you have a previous injury that might impact your case, we will work to make sure you get every penny you deserve. For a free consultation with a Portland accident attorney, contact Johnson Law right away.