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Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > Could a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

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


There are thousands of people who go about their day-to-lives, while also dealing with some sort of chronic medical condition or injury. Many of those conditions or injuries leave victims suffering on a long-term basis. Unfortunately, these kinds of pre-existing injuries, besides the long-term repercussions on a person’s life, can complicate any subsequent legal claims. One of the best ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen in your own case, is to reach out to an experienced attorney who can help you obtain recovery for your current injury.

What Qualifies as a Pre-Existing Injury? 

A pre-existing injury or condition is a term used to describe injuries that someone suffered before the date of an accident for which they are filing a different claim. While long-term and chronic injuries are the most common type of pre-existing injury that a person can sustain, any type of injury, regardless of severity, length of recovery, or when it happened could qualify as a pre-existing condition and could even be used by insurers to deny a claim. Common pre-existing injuries include back and neck injuries, concussions and other head injuries, and strained muscles and ligaments. These are only a few of the conditions that fall under this category. Basically, as long as the injury occurred before the date of the accident, it can qualify as a pre-existing injury.

Does the Accident Have Anything to Do with Your Pre-Existing Injury? 

One of the determining factors of whether a pre-existing injury will affect a current injury claim is the locations of both injuries. If, for instance, a pre-existing injury involved a broken wrist, but the more recent accident affected the victim’s neck, then the older injury probably won’t affect the new claim. This does not mean, however, that you shouldn’t bring up the old injury with your medical provider and attorney to make sure that it’s fully documented.

Does the New Injury Exacerbate the Pre-Existing Injury? 

Things can become a bit more complicated if the new injury involves the same area of the body that was hurt on the prior occasion. While aggravation of a pre-existing injury is compensable in Florida, insurers can still use it in an attempt to deny compensation to a victim. In these cases, it will be the responsibility of the claimant to prove that the old injury was aggravated by the defendant’s negligence. Doing so will require specific proof not only of the pre-existing condition, but evidence of how the new accident caused the condition to be worsened and how that has affected the victim’s well-being. Essentially, when an accident victim has a pre-existing injury, a court won’t assume that the new accident worsened it. A claimant will need to prove it in order to recover compensation.

Call Today for an Assessment of Your Case

 If you have a pre-existing injury, but were injured in a later accident and are worried that the injury could affect your recovery, please call the experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers at Anderson & Anderson for help. You can reach us at 813-251-0072 or via online message.




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