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How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Being injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence may seem like a pretty clear-cut case: the other driver is at fault and therefore liable, and you’re probably owed compensation. But what happens if you were already injured, and the accident made a pre-existing condition worse?

While the presence of a pre-existing condition does complicate matters, and presents a greater challenge when it comes to awarding damages, it’s still possible for the court to find the at-fault party liable and responsible for damages. Read on to learn more about this type of personal injury case.

How do car accidents make pre-existing conditions worse?

Pre-existing conditions with the potential to be exacerbated by a car accident are numerous, ranging from recent acute injuries like broken bones, back and neck pain and traumatic brain injuries to chronic conditions, including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, degenerative disc disease and more.

Any of the above conditions can be made worse by an auto accident. Whether the accident slows your recovery from a recent injury or worsens the symptoms of an existing chronic condition, you may be able to recover damages if the accident was caused by a negligent driver.

Proving the extent of your injury

Typically, a personal injury claim following a car accident doesn’t result in compensation for pre-existing injuries or conditions. However, you may have a strong case if you can demonstrate that the other driver’s negligence made a pre-existing condition worse.

For example, say you broke your leg several weeks prior to being a passenger in an auto accident. In the days and weeks following the accident, your recovery has stalled—maybe you require more and stronger pain medication, and perhaps an x-ray shows a change in the break from your last doctor appointment. These changes may be attributable to your car accident, and you may be entitled to compensation. Having records of your medical treatment before and after the collision will be key.

While pre-existing conditions can make it harder to assess the extent of your injuries and complicate the process of calculating appropriate damages for pain and suffering, working with a qualified attorney significantly improves your chances of being compensated for your injuries.

For assistance with your auto accident case, reach out to the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP today.