Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

November 27, 2021 | Personal Injury

Yes, a pre-existing injury can affect your personal injury claim. However, that does not mean that you are not able to fight back in these situations. If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of someone else and the other side tries to use a pre-existing injury to prevent you from recovering compensation, you need to speak to an car wreck lawyer as soon as possible. Here, we want to discuss how a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis can help you secure compensation even if you have a history of an injury or illness.

How do Pre-Existing Injuries Affect Injury Claims?

Never outright trust insurance carriers, even if the insurance carrier is your own that you have paid for. The stark reality is that insurance carriers are “for-profit” entities that want to make money. Anytime they have to pay out a claim, they are essentially losing money, even though clients pay premiums so that they will pay out claims when the time comes. However, insurance carriers will look for any reason to lower a settlement amount or even deny a claim altogether. One of the main ways that insurance carriers do this is by looking at a person’s past for pre-existing conditions that could explain current pain and suffering.

Insurance carriers will investigate every claim that comes to their desk. Insurance claims adjusters are highly skilled at what they do, which is looking for reasons to limit how much money is paid out in a settlement. This will include taking a dive into a claimant’s past to discover any previous injuries or medical conditions that could explain the injuries that currently exist.

When an insurance carrier investigates a person’s past, they could find an injury that allows them to shift blame away from the accident. Insurance carriers will say that there is no new injury and that they should not have to pay out compensation.

There are various types of injuries that a person can sustain that could be brought up by insurance carriers, even years after the older injury has occurred. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Prior back injuries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Ongoing or previous joint pain
  • Previous spinal cord injuries
  • Previous brain injuries
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Repetitive stress injuries

When you examine that partial list of prior injuries and illnesses that could affect a current injury claim, you can see that there are items in that list that could certainly be aggravated but a new accident. For example, a vehicle accident could aggravate a work injury that previously affected a person’s back.

You Should Still Be Able to Recover Compensation

Even if an insurance carrier is able to find a claimant’s pre-existing injuries or illnesses, this should not prevent a person from recovering compensation for a new injury or illness caused by the negligence of someone else. The existence of a pre-existing condition should not have anything to do with whether or not a person is able to recover compensation for their current condition.

Millions of individuals have had a previous illness or injury. If the existence of a pre-existing condition means that a person should not be able to recover compensation, then that means anybody who has ever been harmed before would never be able to recover compensation for current injury.

If a person sustains an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity, they should be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party or that party’s insurance carrier. This includes coverage of their medical expenses, lost wages, property damage expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more.