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What If My Accident Made a Pre-Existing Injury Worse?

August 7, 2021

If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or business, it should not matter whether or not you had a pre-existing injury. You should be able to recover compensation for your losses. This includes a situation where a pre-existing injury is made worse by a current accident. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurance carriers and at-fault parties to use a person’s pre-existing injuries against them when it comes to paying compensation. Here, we want to discuss what you can do if an accident makes your pre-existing worse.

Could a Pre-Existing Condition Become Worse?

There are various types of injuries that a person can sustain at different times in their lives that could be re-aggravated due to an accident at a later point. For example, some of the most common types of pre-existing injuries that a person can suffer from include:

  • Prior back injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ongoing joint-related conditions
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Respiratory diseases

The reality is that most people have been injured at some point in their life. Even though individuals typically make a full recovery from injuries, that is not always the case. It is entirely possible for individuals to suffer from lingering effects of an injury for years or even permanently.

Unfortunately, this also means that accidents that occur at a later date could make a pre-existing condition worse. For example, a person who sustained a back injury a decade ago could suffer from lasting effects. If that person is involved in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, this could certainly make the pre-existing back injury worse.

However, can this affect how much compensation a person receives from the other driver’s insurance carrier as a result of the accident?

How Could a Pre-Existing Condition Affect Your Claim?

Insurance carriers will do anything that they can to limit how much money they payout in a settlement. You can be sure that this means that they will try to find pre-existing injuries that explain current pain and suffering. In the example we mentioned above, a person who has a pre-existing back condition could run into challenges when it comes to securing compensation for the vehicle accident caused by the other driver.

However, a pre-existing injury should not keep the person from recovering compensation for a new accident that occurs. Think about how ridiculous that actually sounds. If any person who has been injured in the past were unable to recover compensation, almost nobody would be able to recover compensation for any new incident. 

Even if a new accident aggravates a pre-existing injury, this will still be a compensable injury if it was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another party. The key in these situations will be to have a skilled personal injury lawyer in New Mexico to help handle the claim. A personal injury attorney can get involved and handle all negotiations with the insurance carrier. If necessary, an attorney will be ready to take a case all the way to trial to show that the injury victims should be able to recover compensation for their losses.

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