What if My Accident Made a Pre-Existing Injury Worse?
Injuries happen, and they can happen to a person at any point in their life. However, what happens if you get into an accident that causes a pre-existing injury to worsen? Will you still be able to recover compensation?
Here, we want to examine how pre-existing injuries can affect current injury claims. Hint – even though these cases can become challenging, individuals should still be able to recover compensation for their losses.
What is a Pre-Existing Injury?
A pre-existing injury is pretty well defined by the term in that it is an injury that has previously affected an individual. There is no specific timeline for how far in the past we have to go for an injury to be called “pre-existing.” An injury that happened to you last week could be pre-existing, and an injury that happened years ago could also be considered pre-existing. The expansiveness of this definition is one of the problems that arise when recovering compensation for a current injury.
Pre-existing injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways. This can include prior workplace injuries, injuries that occurred in previous vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries a person has experienced, and more. Just about any type of injury that has occurred in the past can be considered pre-existing, particularly when insurance carriers get involved.
How do Pre-Existing Injuries Get Worse?
Pre-existing injuries can get worse in the aftermath of a vehicle accident. If a vehicle accident occurs, the kinetic forces that run through the vehicle and into our bodies are rather extreme, even for relatively slow-moving impacts. If a person has a prior back injury, regardless of whether or not they are considered fully recovered, an accident can certainly aggravate this injury and cause it to become a major problem once again.
We used a back injury as an example, but just about any type of pre-existing injury can become worse as a result of a vehicle accident.
Can You Recover Compensation?
Insurance carriers and at-fault parties will want you to believe that you are unable to recover compensation for pre-existing injuries, even if they get worse as a result of a vehicle accident. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Just because a person has experienced an injury in the past does not mean that they will be unable to recover compensation for current injuries or if a current crash causes the pre-existing injury to become worse. In all likelihood, a pre-existing injury would not become worse had it not been for a current accident, and individuals deserve compensation if another party caused the accident.
If an insurance carrier finds out about a pre-existing injury, they will almost certainly try to use this against the individual to pay less compensation. However, we strongly encourage you to contact a skilled Raleigh car accident attorney who can examine the facts of the case and push back against any effort by the insurance carrier to limit compensation due to the pre-existing injury. Individuals should be able to recover compensation for all medical bills related to the vehicle accident, as well as most income, pain and suffering damages, and property damage expenses.