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Can a Prior Injury Affect An Auto Accident Injury Claim?

Getting into an auto accident with a prior existing injury can be stressful and puzzling experience. Insurance companies will claim that your new alleged injuries are just an aggravation of your pre-existing injury. Many clients who need to use personal injury lawyers have a history of some prior injury or pre-existing medical condition such as prior back and neck pain, head injury or other general aches and pains. When the new accident happens, it may reactivate some of these pains but more often, if the accident is serious enough, the new injuries are only acquired because of the crash. However, the insurance company will use the information about your prior condition against you.

Insurance Companies Deny Coverage

As we know, insurance companies can be difficult to deal with because they want to be able to walk away getting the best price possible for their own benefit. In this sense, they will raise defenses on why the insured does not qualify for their claim. In this specific case, it will be the fact that the alleged injury that the insured retained from the accident was/is in fact a pre-existing injury and not due to the accident.

To further give proof of their reasoning, the insurance company will ask the insured to sign over medical authorization for them to gain access to the medical history record of the insured. Signing over this information gives them crucial evidence to use against the insured asking for assistance. It is best to not sign this over and to wait for an experience personal injury attorney to give proper guidance. This does not mean the insured should not disclose any information at all. If any case, the insured should disclose enough information for the adjuster to know about the pre-existing condition without giving away the medical records that can be used in whichever way the adjuster decides to choose [1].

The Proof In Evidence That Benefits The Insured

Medical records are the most essential part of an injury claim. The documented treatments and statements by doctors can give legitimacy to said claims. When in regards to a prior injury overshadowing a new injury acquired from the accident, it’s significant to have a complete set of medical records highlighting any prior injuries and current injuries with the differences in treatment. In a sense, it is expected that some treatments will overlap when older injuries are aggravated, however, an insured individual should see a new medical provider for their new injuries for the best advice. This provider should write a letter stating which treatment is related to the pre-existing injury and which is related to the new accident.

Florida law protects the harmed individual from a tortfeasor or a person that caused the harm and states that this individual can be held responsible for damages that are a result of a pre-existing injury being aggravated by a new injury. The specific elements needed to establish this liability include the fact that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care; that they breached this duty by acting negligently; and that their actions were the direct and proximate cause of your injuries. The proof in the medical records, photographs of the accident scene and injuries sustained, incident and/or police reports and witness statements can help support the claim [2]. Previous pain that was once known to family, friends and physicians as being tolerable to current pain that may be experienced as intolerable will also aid in depicting the fact that the new accident caused the severity of the injury.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

It is absolutely crucial for victims of an accident to give our attorneys all information possible about pre-existing injuries or medical conditions. Anything that you remember about the injury such as: if and when an accident caused it; how lengthy was the treatment; was there ever a surgery recommended; did you have an MRI, had you fully recovered before the new accident, etc. Out of all of the questions and discussions, perhaps the most important to know about is when the last treatment for this injury occurred and when was the last time before the new accident you had pain?

Our experienced personal injury attorneys can only help you if you tell us everything about this condition. It can be challenging, but Florida law recognizes that one can recover damages for an injury that results in an aggravation of a preexisting condition. Many of us have suffered some type of injury in the past. When you are involved in an accident later down the line, it is imperative to have the advice of an attorney who is familiar with litigation claims of an aggravated past injury or to argue that this new injury is different from the former. Here at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we are well-versed in dealing with these issues and are proficient in gathering the required evidence to secure the best outcome possible. Contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation. Our number is (727) 451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900



[1] https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=23298
[2] https://virginiabeach.legalexaminer.com/automobile-accidents/does-a-prior-injury-effect-my-auto-accident-injury-claim/