If you were injured in an incident where another party is at fault, such as a car accident, a slip-and-fall accident, or a case of medical malpractice, you deserve compensation for your injuries. In a personal injury case, you must prove that your injury was the result of the accident, and not caused by anything else. This is why so many people wonder if they can still win personal injury cases with a pre-existing injury.
The good news is that you can still win your personal injury case with a pre-existing injury, but it might be a little more complicated. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Does My Pre-Existing Injury Matter?
Pre-existing injuries matter in personal injury lawsuits, because the goal of the lawsuit is to prove that the other party was at fault for your injuries due to negligence. Here’s an example. Imagine you were doing some yard work and fell and broke your wrist. You ask your spouse to drive you to the hospital, but en route, you’re hit by a negligent driver. That negligent drive didn’t cause your broken wrist, and it wouldn’t be fair if you claimed they did and got compensation for it.
With this in mind, the at-fault party’s lawyer and their insurance company will try their best to prove their client wasn’t at fault. If there’s even a slight chance that they were not responsible for your injury, you might not get fully compensated. This is why pre-existing injuries matter so much in personal injury cases.
In the same example as above, let’s suppose that while you were driving to get your broken wrist treated, you were hit by a negligent driver and it exacerbated the injury in your wrist. This is where things start to get a little complicated. If your wrist was made worse by the accident, then the at-fault driver must pay.
What Kind of Conditions to Consider
The most common types of personal injuries occur due to accidents like car crashes, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, and problems with defective products. Injuries from these accidents often include broken bones, back or neck problems (whiplash), head injuries, or chronic pain. The problem with this is that many of these conditions can be ongoing. This means you may still feel the effects of an injury sustained years ago.
If it’s discovered that you saw your doctor for a condition like neck pain before you sustained your current injury, the at-fault party’s lawyer will undoubtedly try to prove that your injury was pre-existing. The truth is, only an expert can determine whether the injury was pre-existing or sustained in the accident. That’s why it’s so important to get expert legal advice in these cases. A personal injury attorney can help you gather the required documentation and evidence, so you have a better chance of proving your case.
Will My Pre-Existing Injury Complicate My Case?
In most cases, a pre-existing injury will complicate your personal injury case. Remember, the goal of the case is for you to prove that your injuries were caused by, or made worse by the accident. Having testimony from witnesses and experts like doctors can help. You’ll have to provide medical documentation and medical records from before the injury and from after it, and you’ll also have to provide an expert medical opinion that states that your injuries were the result of an accident.
A personal injury lawyer understands the complications involved in cases like these and will help guide you through the entire legal process. They will be able to help determine if you have a solid case and how much compensation you may receive. It’s a great idea to have a trustworthy expert on your side. If you’ve sustained an injury, it’s probably a stressful time in your life, and having legal counsel can give you the peace of mind you need.
Don’t Let a Pre-Existing Condition Discourage You
While it’s true that a pre-existing injury may complicate your case, that shouldn’t discourage you from taking legal action. If you were injured in an accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries. The legal system is complex, though, and a pre-existing injury often further complicates things. Seek out an attorney who specializes in personal injury and has experience handling cases like yours. A great lawyer will fight for you and won’t require payment unless you win your case.
You can receive compensation for medical bills, lost income from missing work, pain and suffering, and ongoing treatment for your injuries, but you first must prove that your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence. After seeking medical treatment for your injuries, your next step should be to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. They can help you figure out what to do next give you the legal advice you need.