Aggravated Injury SettlementsTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. August 28, 2022
Pre-existing Injuries and Your Personal Injury Case
Not every victim of someone’s negligence comes into a situation with a perfectly healthy body. Many people have some form of a pre-existing injury, whether it’s serious or minor, that existed prior to the incident. Whether this injury includes knee pain, spine injuries, hip pain, or a shoulder injury, pre-existing injuries won’t necessarily derail your personal injury claim.
If you’ve developed new injuries in addition to any pre-existing injury, then you still may be able to receive compensation for any new injuries caused by negligence, in addition to any aggravated injury compensation you are eligible for. Your medical records and the testimony of a medical expert may be used to establish which injuries you had prior to the accident and which injuries were the direct result of the incident in question.
Aggravation of Injuries
While you are not entitled to payment for injuries that existed before an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the degree to which any pre-existing injuries were aggravated or exacerbated by someone else’s negligence. Aggravation of a pre-existing injury means that your injury was made worse as a result of the incident in question.
Examples of aggravated injuries include:
- Neck and back pain
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Prior bone fractures
- Prior head injuries
In the case of aggravation of a pre-existing injury, you may be compensated for the degree of exacerbation and not for the entire injury. You may not be compensated for the treatment you were already undergoing as the result of your pre-existing injury but may be compensated for any additional care that was required. Proving the aggravation of an existing injury requires a thorough and extensive review of medical records and current medical examinations to compare an individual’s condition before and after an accident.
A defendant can’t avoid liability simply because a plaintiff was more prone to injury due to a pre-existing condition. A negligent party will still be liable even if the plaintiff was more susceptible, due to a health condition, to being seriously injured.
Pre-Existing Injuries Settlement
In one case, our client and his spouse were in a vehicle, traveling on a road in the same direction as the defendant’s vehicle, when the defendant pulled off onto the shoulder of the road and made an illegal U-Turn in front of our clients’ vehicle.
Both of our clients suffered injuries to their neck and lower back. The MRIs of the neck and lower back revealed multiple herniated discs. The husband was involved in a motor vehicle accident several years before this accident which resulted in herniated discs in his lower back. The new MRI revealed he sustained an aggravation of his previous lower back injuries.
Our clients were treated conservatively for neck and back pain with multiple injections. The husband’s conservative treatment failed. The surgeon recommended that the husband submit to lower back surgery to alleviate his lower back pain and radiating symptoms caused by the aggravation to his pre-existing lower back injuries from the prior accident. The husband submitted to lower back surgery and it was a success.
The wife suffered from intermittent and occasional neck and lower back pain after conservative treatment.
The defendant’s insurance company merely offered the husband and wife $40,000 & $70,000 respectively to settle their claims pre-suit.
Suit was filed and the case progressed through the litigation process to mediation. At the mediation, the defendant’s insurance company offered $60,000 to the husband and did not increase their offer to settle the wife’s claim. Those offers were rejected, and the case was set for trial.
Two months before trial the defendant’s insurance company accepted the formal demands to settle the wife’s case for $150,000 and to settle the husband’s case for the full policy limits of 250,000 for a full and final combined settlement of $400,000.
Contact a Trusted Florida Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, you should consult with experienced personal injury lawyers. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.