When someone with prior injuries is involved in a car accident, he or she often wonders if their prior injuries will effect their ability to file a car accident claim. As a personal injury lawyer, I have had many people ask me that very question, and my answer is always the same – DON’T EVER ASSUME YOU CAN’T FILE A LAWSUIT.
Before you make any judgments about the merits of your case, talk to a lawyer. Yes, insurance companies will immediately focus on your prior injuries; they will try to use it as a bargaining chip to reduce your compensation, but I won’t let them take advantage of you. Regardless of your prior injuries, you still have the right to be compensated for the harm you’ve suffered.
Obtaining compensation for your injuries when you have prior injuries will be challenging, but not impossible. You will have to prove that your current injuries, or the worsening of your prior condition is directly connected to the car accident.
With prior injuries, you must prove the following in order to have a successful claim:
- The car accident caused your injuries.
- The other party was negligent.
- The other party owed you a duty of care.
In order to prove your case, you must collect the following information:
- Statements from accident witnesses
- Police report of the car accident
- Photos of the accident scene
- Medical records
- Proof of your new injuries vs. prior injuries
Be sure to fully disclose your prior injuries at the outset of your case. The worst thing you can do is try to hide the existence of prior injuries, and then be confronted about them later in the process.
When you turn your medical records over to an adjuster, he or she will evaluate your doctor’s prognosis, and have an expert determine how your new injuries relate to your prior injuries. Your best chance at recovery is for medical experts to be able to separate your old injuries from your new injuries, and to link your new injuries to the car accident.
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373 so I can help you evaluate your case. I will help you understand what you are entitled to and that you get the compensation you deserve.
Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at [email protected] or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.