“I have a previous injury that is now worse after my car wreck — can I be compensated?”


This is known as a “pre-existing” injury and you can still be compensated for a negligent person making your pre-existing injury worse.

Practical Reality
If you are over the age of 20, you likely will have some pre-existing injuries. Maybe in high school you hurt your knee. Or you hurt your back on your job.

Now somebody blows through a red light and crashes into you and your back or knee hurt worse.

Or you never thought you had any problems but the doctor says you have “degenerative disk disease.” This just means your back is showing wear and tear.

This is not something to run from or to be discouraged by — it is just the reality that we all have had problems or injuries to different parts of our bodies. The alternative is to be dead so not so bad when you think about it…. 🙂

Why Insurance Companies Love Pre-Existing Injuries
Even though we all have these, when an insurance company for a drunk driver or a negligent driver finds out you had a back injury 10 years ago, the company gets giddy.

It thinks it hit the lottery and now you should not be compensated at all.

Stupid thinking.

So what that you have a previous back injury?

If your doctor says that an SUV slamming into your car made the old injury flair up, or get worse, or require surgery, then the negligent person is responsible for that damage that was caused.

We have pointed out that the law does not require that you be a 20 year old olympic athlete in order to be compensated when you have been injured because of someone’s negligence.

What To Do About A Pre-Existing Injury
Don’t try to hide it.

Be honest about it.

Let your doctor know how the pain is different, more intense, came back, etc. Let the doctor know why you are feeling worse or have less range of motion.

People get into trouble when they lie about anything but particularly an old injury or problem.

The solution is to be honest.

If you are honest and, if needed, you hire a good lawyer, then the pre-existing injury can be dealt with in a proper manner.

Don’t be discouraged — instead understand that the law requires that the defendant compensate you for how you are not how a 20 year old olympic athlete would have been affected. If the defendant wants to make that argument then he should have run the red light and hit that person — not you. He hit you so he has to deal with the consequences.

If you live anywhere in Alabama and have questions about a potential car wreck or other personal injury case, give us a call at 205-879-2447 or fill out our contact form here and we will be glad to get back with you the same day.

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