Regardless of the circumstances, getting injured can affect your life in many negative ways. Even more devastating is an injury that makes your pre-existing condition worse.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is a health issue (injury/illness/ailment) that you had and suffered from prior to any new injury or illness resulting from an accident. An example might be a back injury you sustained during college. It may not hurt every day, but it causes pain for a few days or hours when you perform certain functions.
Other examples might be:
● Previously broken bones
● Neck pain
● Back pain
● Herniated disc
● Brain injury
● Hip pain
● Joint disease
● Strains and sprains
● Heart disease
Can You Get Compensated for a Pre-Existing Condition?
No. If you already have a pre-existing condition, you cannot claim damages for something that already existed at the time of your accident. Personal injury cases cover only new injuries related to the accident. Insurance Companies and At-Fault Parties When you are involved in a personal injury case, an insurance company or at-fault party may review your entire medical history looking for pre-existing conditions to rule out any damages for these items. Some companies may even hire an insurance investigator to look into your background. Typically, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible and are always looking for ways to deny claims.
How Pre-Existing Conditions Complicate Personal Injury Cases?
After an accident, you cannot claim damages for any pre-existing conditions. However, if the accident was due to someone’s negligence and caused your pre-existing condition to worsen, you can claim damages. However, these things can get very complicated.
The reason is that it can be challenging to prove the existence of a pre-existing condition or that the accident directly affected it. The opposing party will want to argue that the pain you feel is caused by the pre-existing condition, not by the accident.
You may have to prove the severity of any pre-existing pain versus your new pain. One way to do that is any pain management and medical assistance that you need now compared to before the accident.
A court of law may also have difficulty assigning a specific dollar amount for damages when the accident aggravated your pre-existing condition. In cases where there is no pre-existing condition, it can be easier to calculate damages for a new issue that causes you “pain and suffering.”
There may be rare cases where having a pre-existing condition could make your personal injury case easier to prove, but that is not the norm.
How to Get Help?
Due to the nature of these cases, you may need help proving that your pre-existing condition is much worse since your accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you. Contact Neufeld Law Firm today for help with your personal injury case, especially if it involves a pre-existing condition.