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

August 30, 2022

Just about everyone has had an injury at some point in their lifetime. However, should a pre-existing injury affect any current personal injury claim you have ongoing? The reality is that insurance carriers and at-fault parties may try to use your pre-existing injuries against you for your personal injury claim. Here, we want to discuss how this happens and what you can do about it so you can recover maximum compensation.

Why do Pre-Existing Injuries Cause Problems?

In order to understand why pre-existing injuries can cause issues when it comes to personal injury claims, it is important to examine the nature of insurance carriers. When you file an insurance claim after sustaining an injury, the insurance carrier may seem incredibly friendly. However, please understand that insurance carriers have one goal, and that is to limit how much compensation they payout. When insurance carriers payout claims, this is less profit for them.

That said, insurance carriers will look for various ways to limit how much they pay, and one way they do this is by uncovering pre-existing injuries that a claimant has sustained in order to try and say that the pain and suffering is caused by the pre-existing injury and not the current injury.

But how do insurance carriers find out about pre-existing injuries?

This can occur in a wide variety of ways. In many cases, claimants sign documents that allow the insurance carriers to obtain their full medical history. We caution every person who files an insurance claim to be wary about what they sign. Insurance carriers only need medical records related to the current injury when they are considering whether or not to pay a claim. Be careful about the date and time frame that you allow them to recover when it comes to your medical records.

Another way insurance carriers can find out about pre-existing injuries is by simply asking the claimant. You need to be very guarded about what you talk about when you speak to insurance claims adjusters. Do not talk about your past or anything that has caused you harm before.

How to Recover Compensation if You Have a Pre-Existing Injury

If the current injury incident aggravated a pre-existing injury that you had, it should not affect the compensation you receive, even if the medical treatment is to help the aggravation of the pre-existing injury. The idea behind this is that the aggravation of a pre-existing injury would never have occurred had it not been for the current incident.

If the negligence of another party has led to a new injury or the aggravation of a pre-existing injury, you need to reach out to a skilled attorney immediately. Your lawyer will handle every aspect of your claim. If the insurance carrier finds out about a pre-existing injury, your lawyer will politely but forcefully demand full compensation for your current injuries or be ready to move the claim forward to a jury trial.