You can still recover damages after a car accident if you have pre-existing injuries. For example, you may have arthritis which you’ve been successfully managing. However, if this has been permanently aggravated or if there are changes to the normal course of a condition, you could be entitled to damages through a successful personal injury lawsuit. There is no doubt that some unique challenges can arise in these cases. Defense attorneys typically argue that your injuries were already present at the time of the accident, meaning that you are not entitled to compensation. A Florida car accident lawyer from Kogan & DiSalvo could advise you of your legal options during a free consultation.
Understanding pre-existing conditions
A pre-existing condition is a physical or psychological issue or ailment you had before an accident. It could be an acute injury caused by a recent accident or chronic pain that has followed you for years. For example, depression or high blood pressure are commonly exacerbated by an accident. The critical factor in these cases is not whether you are injured but whether your condition worsened due to the other party’s negligence.
A pre-existing injury could complicate your injury lawsuit
Some challenges come with pre-existing injuries. If you were unhurt before your car accident, the presence of an injury alone makes for a strong case for compensation. After all, it is not a reach for a jury to determine that the injuries you sustained, such as lacerations or broken bones, were caused in the crash.
However, it gets more complex with pre-existing conditions. In these cases, the defendant does not have to dispute that you are hurt or sow doubt regarding the severity of your injuries. Instead, they only need to make the case that the injuries were caused by someone or something other than the defendant.
Making this case is best done with the assistance of medical experts. A doctor may be able to review your medical records and explain to a judge or a jury how a car accident made your existing condition worse.
How has the accident impacted your life?
How the accident has impacted your quality of life is one of the most important factors in these cases. It involves establishing to a judge or jury the extent to which your injuries have been aggravated.
Some of the signs that can point to an aggravated injury include the following:
- The need for additional medical care
- Increased pain control
- Greater disability
- The inability to work
Your attorney could point to these signs as proof that your pre-existing injury worsened due to the defendant’s negligence.
It is vital that you seek medical care
The most important step you can take—both for your health and the strength of your case—is to seek medical treatment immediately. When you visit the doctor, you are creating medical records that could be used to support your claim. With the help of these records, you could establish that your injuries worsened due to the car accident and that you have taken the necessary steps to improve.
It is not enough to seek out a medical professional once and then move on. You need to continue your treatment plan as long as your doctor recommends. Doing so could put you in a position to secure fair compensation despite a pre-existing condition.
Schedule a free consultation at Kogan & DiSalvo
Making a successful personal injury claim can be more challenging when you have a pre-existing injury. However, when you rely on strong legal counsel to build a winning case, you could establish to a judge or jury that a previous injury was aggravated due to the other party’s negligence. At Kogan & DiSalvo, we know how to handle cases involving pre-existing injuries. If you are ready to move forward with your claim, reach out to our firm for a free consultation right away; there is no obligation to hire us, and we are happy to answer your questions.