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Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

September 8, 2021

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of someone else, you probably think that you can receive compensation for your losses. However, what happens if you have a pre-existing injury that the at-fault party or their legal team finds out about? Can pre-existing injuries really keep you from recovering compensation for any new injuries you sustained? Here, we will discuss how pre-existing injuries can affect personal injury claims.

How Will a Pre-Existing Condition Affect an Injury Claim?

Insurance carriers. 

That is the best way to explain why pre-existing conditions have such a significant effect on injury claims. Insurance carriers are looking at their bottom line when it comes to dollar signs. These are “for-profit” entities that will do anything they can to limit how much money they payout for a settlement. This includes looking for ways to deny the liability of their policyholder. It also includes looking at an injury victim’s past for any pre-existing conditions that could explain current injuries.

When an insurance carrier begins investigating an injury claim, they will look deep into the claimant’s past if they can to see if there are any previous injuries or conditions that might explain the current pain and suffering. They do this because finding past injuries could help shift the blame away from the current incident and allow them to say that any current injury is actually a previous injury and not a new injury caused by their policyholder’s actions.

There are a variety of types of pre-existing injuries that could be dredged up by an insurance carrier. The truth is that, yes, the current accident can certainly aggravate pre-existing injury symptoms and make them worse. Some of the types of pre-existing injuries a person can suffer from include the following:

  • Previous back injuries 
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Various cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses
  • Ongoing or previous joint pain or conditions
  • Past head or spinal cord injury

Individuals Should Still be Able to Recover Compensation

Even though an insurance carrier may try to use a pre-existing condition against a claimant, this will not absolve the at-fault party from any liability they have for the current incident. The existence of a pre-existing condition should not bear any weight on whether or not a person is able to recover compensation for their current injuries. 

If we look honestly at this situation, the existence of a pre-existing condition would mean that nobody would be able to recover compensation for any new injuries if they have ever been harmed in the past. That is not how personal injury law in California works. 

Individuals absolutely should recover compensation from an at-fault party and their insurance carrier, regardless of whether or not their current pain and suffering is an aggravation of an existing injury or a new injury altogether. The aggravation of any pre-existing injuries would not have happened if not for the negligence of the other party, just like any new injuries would not have occurred otherwise.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, you need to work with a skilled attorney who can help you recover maximum compensation for your losses. An attorney will be able to fully investigate the incident and handle any objections from the at-fault party or their insurance carrier based on supposed pre-existing conditions.

 

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