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How Pre-existing Injuries Affect Personal Injury Claims

A preexisting injury or medical condition refers to injury or condition that you suffered prior to the injury for which you are currently filing a lawsuit. In this situation, you are required to disclose the presence of any preexisting injury. Having a preexisting injury or condition won’t keep you from recovering damages when you file a personal injury claim in Norfolk but it is considered when calculating an award for damages and may impact the value of your claim. 

What is considered a preexisting injury or condition?

While any injury or condition that existed before you sustained new injuries can be considered a preexisting medical condition, the most important in a personal injury case are those that affect or interact with the new injuries. These are a few common examples of preexisting injuries:

  • Injuries that have not healed properly or are still in the process of healing
  • Injuries you have sustained from a previous, unrelated accident
  • Medical conditions that surface only during times of stress
  • Birth defects or congenital abnormalities

Preexisting injuries can be aggravated by a new injury to the same part of the body and that aggravation can increase resulting pain and suffering and delay your recovery. 

Why you need a personal injury attorney

Without an attorney, you have to defend your medical history and prove that your current injuries are largely due to the accident and not your preexisting medical condition. In order for your previous injuries to significantly impact your personal injury claim, you have the burden of proving that your preexisting injuries have a causal relationship with your current injuries. An attorney is able to defend your medical history and prove that your current injuries are primarily due to your recent incident and not your prior medical condition. 

In order for an attorney to properly prepare for your particular situation, it is imperative that you disclose your prior medical history, no matter how unrelated your current injuries may seem. An attorney can then employ past medical records and diagnostic tests and compare them with past records and tests to determine how the accident worsened the preexisting condition. The attorney can also use clinical records to compare the plaintiff’s extent of necessary care, degree of pain, or disability before and after the incident. 

If you or a loved one is pursuing a personal injury claim and has a preexisting condition, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Montagna Law for assistance. We’ll help you to understand how your preexisting condition may impact your claim, why the defendant might use it to discredit your new injuries, and how you can help us to present the most effective case under your particular circumstances.

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