Pre-existing Injuries and Your Personal Injury Case

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. January 08, 2019

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 injury, whether it’s serious or minor, that existed prior to the incident. Whether this injury includes knee pain, back pain, hip pain, or a shoulder injury, pre-existing injuries won’t necessarily derail your personal injury claim.

New Injuries

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. 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 the result of the incident in question. Examples of aggravated injuries include:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Knee injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Arthritis
  • 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.

Contact a Trusted Attorney

If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.