When an accident causes new pain and symptoms from an old injury, you deserve compensation
When it comes to compensation for pre-existing injuries, many people are confused. Not understanding the law, they let insurance companies and other representatives of at-fault parties talk them out of the compensation that is rightfully theirs.
It is very important to understand that you are in fact entitled to compensation for the aggravation of pre-existing injuries. This includes the worsening of physical and/or psychological conditions.
For example, say a person with a previous back injury gets rear-ended at a stop sign. Their old injury suddenly flares up with new pain and they find they need to go back to the chiropractor or physical therapist for treatment. While the at-fault driver obviously did not cause the original back injury and is not liable for it, they did cause the new symptoms and they are liable for those. The victim can therefore seek damages for the cost of any new treatments as well as for their current pain and suffering.
Always Disclose a Pre-Existing Injury
If you have been in any kind of accident, it is in your own best interest to disclose to your attorney any pre-existing injury, even if the new injury you suffered in the accident seems unrelated. If you fail to disclose previous injuries and they are brought up in court, it may damage your credibility and reduce the amount of damages you may be able to recover.
Soft-Shell Plaintiffs Are More Easily Injured
In the personal injury world, a plaintiff with a pre-existing injury is called a “soft-shell plaintiff.” This term refers to the fact that an individual who may be in a weakened condition because of a pre-existing injury is more likely to be injured if a new accident occurs—even if the accident was not serious enough to cause the same injury to a healthy person.
For example, even a low-impact car accident could aggravate a pre-existing neck or back injury. While a jury might be skeptical of a healthy person claiming injury after a low-impact accident, a skilled lawyer can make them understand how a “soft-shell” plaintiff is more vulnerable and erase any doubt in the jury’s mind that the minor collision caused the injury.
Detailed Medical Records are Key
In order to secure compensation for aggravation of a pre-existing condition, a careful comparison of old and new medical records is necessary. Your personal injury attorney will consult medical experts as needed to help explain the records. The goal is to show when the original injury happened, what your condition was before the accident, and how the current accident aggravated the injury and changed your condition. This testimony may be crucial in determining the amount of medical costs that may be awarded to you.
Contact Us for Help Today
At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we are not afraid of complicated cases. We will gladly represent you if you have experienced aggravation of a pre-existing injury in an accident that was not your fault. Contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.