How Can a Pre-Existing Injury Complicate a Personal Injury Case?

Pre-Existing Injuries Can impact a personal injury case

If you have suffered bodily harm as the result of an injury or an accident you have a right to be compensated for damages caused by the party responsible for injury or accident. With most personal injury cases, the party responsible for the accident (and their insurance company) will do their best to minimize their cost and settle the case with the lowest damages award possible. Personal injury cases become more complicated where the injured party has a pre-existing injury or condition aggravated or worsened as a result of the accident.

Pre-existing Injuries Can Affect the Outcome of Your Case

If an injury is related to a pre-existing injury or condition aggravated by the accident, you can count on the insurance company fighting aggressively to limit any financial award. While you are not entitled to receive damages for any condition that existed before the accident, you have every right to receive damages for any physical or mental conditions aggravated or made worse by the accident. The complications and disputes arise when making the distinction between the prior injury and the current injury.

Disclose Any Pre-Existing Injuries

Having full knowledge of any previous injury or condition is critical. If your injury is made worse by a preexisting injury or health condition you do not want to hide that information or evidence from your attorney. Full disclosure is absolutely required. He or she needs to be fully equipped to strategize and advocate on your behalf to achieve the best case result.

When you file a personal injury case, the defendant’s insurance company will have the right to access to your medical history and health records. Those medical records will be scrutinized in fine detail, so any attempt or efforts to withhold or minimize such information can only hurt your credibility and the outcome of your case.

Evidence Through Medical Records

A number of pre-existing conditions could become relevant in a personal injury case. From high blood pressure and bulging discs to depression and anxiety, most physical or mental conditions experienced prior to an accident could be considered pre-existing conditions. The medical records provide the documentation of prior conditions and provide a valuable reference point for comparison. For an experienced personal injury attorney, these records can provide a strategic advantage when trying to show how an accident either aggravated a pre-existing condition or caused more severe injuries than one would expect.

Pre-Existing Injuries in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case

In Pennsylvania personal injury cases, if the aggravation of a pre-existing injury or condition occurs, the party at fault is liable for damages. Standard jury instructions are given to Pennsylvania jurors to help them determine the amount to award for damages. Specifically, they provide:

“Damages should be awarded for all injuries caused — even if:

  1. the injuries caused by the [accident] [occurrence] were more severe than could have been foreseen because of the plaintiff’s prior physical condition; or
  2. a preexisting medical condition was aggravated by” the accident. [Standard Civil Jury Instruction 6.03]

Call Personal Injury Lawyer Alfred Abel for Help With a Claim Involving a Pre-Existing Injury

If you have been injured in an accident, especially if you have a pre-existing injury or condition, be sure to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to get the best possible outcome for your claim. Contact us today to set up a consultation and learn more about complications presented by pre-existing injuries and conditions.

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3 Factors A Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia Considers When Taking Cases

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When you are going to meet with a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, what you want to hear is that you have a great case. However, a lot of factors influence whether a personal injury lawyer will consider your case a strong one. Every case is different, but at the same time, some factors increase the likelihood that a case will be successful for a client.

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Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer Discusses Tips for Small Businesses

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One unfortunate aspect of working as a Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer is knowing that a great many business bankruptcies might have been avoided. Sometimes catastrophes happen, or bad luck ruins a good business plan, but often, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners call a bankruptcy lawyer due to inexperience or costly decisions over time. Sometimes calling a bankruptcy lawyer before the situation is too dire can yield solutions other than bankruptcy.

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Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Limited Tort vs Full Tort

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Every state has specific laws and regulations concerning personal injury claims which a personal injury lawyer must be familiar with. But here in Pennsylvania, this can be particularly tricky. Pennsylvania has a set of laws covering personal injury and automotive insurance that are unlike any other in the country: “full tort” vs. “limited tort” insurance.

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Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy the Right Move for You?

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As a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia, an important piece of our job is counseling people in bad financial situations. When someone has a large amount of unsecured debt that he/she is unable to pay, and the individual is being harassed by creditors, getting out from under the weight of unmanageable debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy can sound like a great idea.

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What Constitutes Serious Injury in Philadelphia Personal Injury Cases?

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When you go to a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia with a personal injury claim, one important question that will be raised is whether enough injury has occurred to justify a court case; is the injury a serious injury? A simple sprained wrist or a few bruises, for example, are usually insufficient for bringing a case to court. Most likely minor injuries would be insufficient to warrant filing a case.

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Alfred Abel Discusses 4 Ways to Reduce Your Costs and Avoid Bankruptcy

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When you visit our Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia to discuss filing for bankruptcy, we will help you learn what your options are. Whether you are considering Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the process can be disruptive and affect your credit for several years, so in a perfect world, we all want to avoid this consequence. Consulting a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia early, before things become too overwhelming, is a good idea. Sometimes we can suggest alternatives.

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What to Do If You Are Involved in an Auto Accident Out-of-State

More than 6 million vehicle accidents occur annually. Most only involve property damage, but around one third of those accidents involve personal injury. Being involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of where the accident happens, can be an unnerving situation. When you are on vacation or traveling and become involved in an auto accident out-of-state, the situation can be especially stressful since you are in unfamiliar surroundings. State laws generally impose legal obligations on everyone involved in an accident, therefore, knowing what to do and how to protect your interests, as well as contacting a local personal injury attorney, can save you from personal and financial hardships down the road.

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