Car accidents can often exacerbate pre-existing conditions or injuries. But even if that’s the case, you may still be eligible to file a personal injury claim and recoup the damages and costs you’ve incurred and endured since the accident, especially in situations where the car accident was due to someone else’s negligence. Because of the complexities in these types of claims, it’s important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your options.
Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company where the goal and best interest is in paying you as little as possible for your car accident claim. So within instances in which a pre-existing injury is involved, adjusters will undoubtedly argue that the injuries you sustained in the car accident were not actually caused by the accident.
Common Pre-Existing Conditions Impacted by a Car Accident
The impacts induced by car accidents are many times very severe, which can cause a pre-existing injury to become much worse off. Here are some pre-existing injury examples that tend to be aggravated by car accidents:
- Degenerative disc disease/Herniated disc
- Broken bones that had previously healed
- Lower back strains
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Concussions and other brain injuries
When it comes to pre-existing injuries, comparing medical records before and after the accident can be vital in terms of strengthening your claim. Key types of evidence include:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Electronic evidence
- Police or accident reports
- Medical records
It’s crucial that you help establish the facts that you weren’t experiencing your current symptoms prior to the car accident, and the more you can ultimately distance your current symptoms with the medical attention of your pre-existing condition, the better. This can mean going to your doctor(s) who treated your old injuries and obtaining the records confirming the success of your previous treatment, and of course when that treatment occurred.
The ‘Eggshell Injury Doctrine’
The Eggshell Injury Doctrine is a law that many states, including New Jersey, have incorporated in order to protect individuals suffering from pre-existing conditions. This law essentially states that individuals with pre-existing injuries have the right to compensation for their injuries, even given the circumstances that their current injuries wouldn’t have been quite as bad if it weren’t for their pre-existing condition.
There are several elements that need to be proven in situations with pre-existing conditions. First, you need to prove the condition was stable at the time of the accident and there’s no reason to believe the condition would have gotten worse, ideally, through medical records. Some healthy people may not be injured in the same accident scenario that an eggshell plaintiff may find themselves within, but just because someone’s pre-existing injury or overall condition leaves them more susceptible it doesn’t mean the at-fault driver isn’t liable for the overall damages their negligence induces.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney for Your Injury Claim?
No one ever chooses to be involved in a car accident, regardless of pre-existing injuries, so it’s important to know that you can still recover damages like lost wages, medical expenses caused by a car accident that aggravated pre-existing injuries. If you or a loved one is involved in any type of car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, at Brandon J. Broderick, you can have someone at your side, who’s got your back and is seeking your fair and rightful compensation.
Without a legal claim, the insurance company can offer you a lowball offer that barely covers any of your needs and may even refuse to cover some of the damages. You may be left having to pay for the costs of your injuries on your own. Contact us today and let us turn your setback into a comeback.