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Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Car Accident Lawsuit?

Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in New York that was someone else’s fault, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medal bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But because most of the focus of a car accident claim will be on the injuries you have suffered, any pre-existing medical conditions you have can have an adverse impact on the success of your personal injury claim.

Insurance companies facing a significant car accident claim may look for a pre-existing injury to avoid liability and argue that a previous injury is the cause of your need for medical care – not anything their policyholder has done. To counter this, you will need to distinguish the impact of your current car crash injuries on your life from your pre-existing injuries or show that the auto accident made worse a pre-existing medical condition. This will require medical records, expert testimony from medical experts, and an understanding of New York personal injury law. The attorneys at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can provide the legal representation you need to deal with insurance companies and medical bills.

If you have a pre-existing injury and have been seriously injured in a car accident, the Queens car accident attorneys at The Tadchiev Law Firm can discuss whether a personal injury lawsuit is in order. We can handle your insurance claims and ensure that you are treated fairly. If the car crash aggravated a pre-existing injury, our attorneys will see to it that you are fully compensated for what you have been put through.

Let the Tadchiev Law Firm give you the personalized service and attention you deserve while negotiating with the insurance company to provide fair compensation. Our mission is to tirelessly advocate for your recovery. Contact us today online or at 718-606-4931 in Queens for a free review of your case.

What Constitutes a Pre-Existing Injury?

A pre-existing injury is a medical condition – a traumatic injury or illness – that the injured party suffered prior to the accident that led to their most recent injury. A pre-existing condition is one of the most common reasons insurance companies cite to deny or undervalue personal injury claims.

In most cases, we think of prior injuries that may be made worse in an accident, such as:

But a pre-existing injury may also be an illness suffered prior to a car accident, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression

How Can a Pre-Existing Condition Be Made Worse by a Car Accident?

Many car accidents cause blunt-force trauma, or injuries caused when the victim’s body is struck by or strikes a fixed object or surface area. A driver or passenger in a car may suffer blunt force trauma in a crash if they are slammed against the interior of the vehicle, such as the dashboard or a doorframe, or loose cargo in the vehicle is thrown against them. More commonly, car accident victims suffer in-direct blunt-force trauma when a car collides with another vehicle or another object, and the energy of the collision transfers to the bodies of individuals in the vehicle.

Blunt-force trauma suffered in a car accident can exacerbate several injuries and illnesses, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury: Recent research has shown that the damage done by mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, can be made more severe and even life-altering by additional blows to the head.
  • Broken bones: A bone that has been fractured will heal but will not be as strong as it once was. As we get older, the inability of bones to completely heal gets worse. A blow to a previously broken bone can easily cause a new and worse fracture.
  • Osteoporosis: A person with osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease, is more vulnerable to broken bones in a car accident. They are also more at risk of damage to organs protected by their bones or to spinal cord injuries.
  • Degenerative disk disease or arthritis: Other degenerative conditions can be aggravated when the blunt-force trauma of a car crash intensifies the severity of the individual’s chronic pain and other symptoms.
  • Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a mysterious condition that causes debilitating pain throughout the body. Doctors cannot identify why fibromyalgia occurs, but there are documented cases of the onset of fibromyalgia being triggered by car accidents [CN2] and of pre-existing fibromyalgia becoming worse.
  • Depression/anxiety: Pain caused by a car accident injury or chronic pain exacerbated by an injury can make existing mental health problems like depression and anxiety more severe or increase the duration of a depressed mood.

It’s important to seek medical attention promptly after a car accident. A doctor can diagnose your injuries. You may require surgery. These medical records also document that a car collision caused the injuries you are suffering, not a pre-existing condition.

What Is the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine?

A legal doctrine known as the “eggshell plaintiff” or “eggshell skull rule” holds that accident victims who are more susceptible to injury because of a pre-existing condition still have a right to full compensation when injured by someone else’s negligence. In other words, a negligent driver who causes a car accident is obligated to the accident victim regardless of whether the victim is more susceptible to injury.

The usual example of this common law rule is that if a person’s skull were very thin due to a medical condition, a person whose negligence led to an accident that injured them would be liable for their medical expenses and monetary losses, even though the average person would not have suffered the same serious injuries in the same accident as the “eggshell plaintiff” did.

Get in Touch with Our Queens Car Accident Lawyers

If you have sustained serious injuries in a car crash caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. You should discuss your injuries and legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to pursue a car accident claim even if you have a pre-existing condition. Let a car accident lawyer with The Tadchiev Law Firm in Queens, New York, help you explore your legal options. We can make sure medical records document your pre-existing condition and the accident’s impact on it, including referring you to medical professionals if needed.

Call 718-606-4931 if you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Queens. Your car accident lawyer from The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. will not charge a legal fee unless we win for you, and we can start with a free case review to answer any questions you may have. Contact us now.