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Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

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Posted on April 9, 2024

Filing a personal injury claim is already a complex process, but if you have a pre-existing condition, it can become even more complicated. A pre-existing injury refers to any health condition or injury that existed before the current accident

Despite its presence, you still have the right to seek compensation if the accident exacerbated or worsened your condition. However, this does not stop insurers and defense attorneys from attempting to devalue your claim based on this fact

You Have the Right to Recover, Even with a Pre-Existing Injury

Many individuals involved in accidents, such as car crashes, may have previously experienced similar injuries from various incidents. These may include back problems, joint issues, and musculoskeletal disorders. However, a new accident can exacerbate existing conditions, requiring additional medical treatment or surgeries, as well as heightened pain levels in the affected areas.

Under Utah law, the at-fault party is required to compensate the victim for the extent to which the pre-existing injury was worsened or aggravated by their negligence. The eggshell rule doctrine states that defendants must take victims as they find them

This means that even if a victim is unusually susceptible to injury due to a pre-existing condition, the defendant is still liable for the full extent of the harm caused by their negligence. In other words, the at-fault party is responsible for compensating the victim for any aggravation or exacerbation of their pre-existing condition, regardless of its fragility or susceptibility

Insurance Companies May Use a Pre-Existing Injury Against You

Despite legal protections, insurance companies may still attempt to use your pre-existing injury against you. They may argue that your current injuries are solely the result of your pre-existing condition, thereby reducing or denying your claim.

Insurance companies often employ various tactics to undermine claims involving pre-existing injuries. For example, they may scrutinize the victim’s medical records and history, searching for any evidence that can be used to attribute the current injuries solely to the pre-existing condition

They may also request independent medical examinations or consultations with their preferred healthcare providers, who may downplay the impact of the accident on the pre-existing injury. Additionally, insurers may present low settlement offers and try to convince the victim to accept them, thereby minimizing their financial liability.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights and Interests

If you have suffered an injury, especially one aggravated by a pre-existing condition, a personal injury lawyer can be your strongest advocate in seeking justice and fair compensation. During insurance investigations, a St. George car accident attorney can intercede on your behalf to protect your rights. They can evaluate any offers that the insurer provides and advise you on whether they adequately reflect the extent of your injuries and losses.

Furthermore, your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into your accident and pre-existing injury. They will gather relevant evidence, such as medical records, witness testimonies, and expert opinions, to establish a clear link between the accident and the aggravation of your pre-existing condition. By building a robust case on your behalf, they can counter any attempts by insurance companies to downplay or deny your claim.

If you are injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer in St. George can serve as your advocate every step of the way. To protect yourself and your rights, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the incident to discuss your path to recovery.