Can You Recover Damages if You Have a Pre-Existing Injury?

car accident victim with injured neckA common question someone may ask after reinjuring a pre-existing medical condition in an accident is whether or not it is still possible to pursue a personal injury claim. The short answer is yes because an accident can aggravate or even cause new damage to an old injury.

However, when a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit has sustained injuries to an old wound, even one that has reportedly healed, pursuing compensation for damages may be more complicated. This is why one of our experienced Savannah personal injury lawyers at Roden Law may be able to help.

We offer a free initial consultation to review the specifics of your claim and answer questions related to your accident. If we represent you, there are no upfront fees required. Since we take cases on contingency, you will not pay us anything unless we are able to recover damages on your behalf.

What Is a Pre-Existing Injury?

A pre-existing injury is one that occurred before the most recent accident. It may be a completely healed condition that was not causing you any current pain. However, old injuries are often more vulnerable to reinjury, including the following:

Common pre-existing injuries may include:

  • Herniated discs or other spinal cord injuries
  • Soft-tissue strains and sprains
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Healed fractures

Dos and Don’ts for Disclosing Pre-Existing Conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by a new accident, it is important that you share this information with your medical provider and the attorney handling your potential claim. This is an important step in protecting your health by helping to ensure you receive the most appropriate medical treatment. It also helps to provide official documentation in your medical records. This tangible evidence can help your personal injury lawyer differentiate between your new injury and how your pre-existing condition has been affected by the accident.

You should also avoid signing any broad medical release form because this can allow the defendant and his or her insurance company access to your full medical records.

You can allow your attorney to discuss your pre-existing condition with the insurance company and attorneys for the defendant to help protect the value of your claim.

The Eggshell Rule: What It Is and How It May Help Your Claim

The eggshell rule is a legal theory that says the at-fault party cannot avoid liability for an injury simply because the victim was more likely to suffer a more serious injury because of a pre-existing medical condition.

This means if you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated or worsened in a new accident, you may still be eligible to recover compensation for the aggravation of your injury.

Contact Roden Law for a Free Consultation

If you have a pre-existing injury, it is important that you know exactly how and when to properly disclose this information, as well as what you should and should not say to the insurance company. If you have a case, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Roden Law can guide you through every aspect of your claim to protect your legal interests.

Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you pay no upfront fees and are only charged for our services if we are able to recover compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.