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


In Bakersfield, it is usual for an accident victim to have a pre-existing condition before an accident occurs. The preexisting harm could be a chronic ailment or an active injury receiving treatment. What are the next steps when an accident worsens a pre-existing condition or injury? While it might complicate things, it cannot prohibit you from recovering compensation for your injury. Doodle Folks

Examples of Pre-Existing Conditions or Injuries

Despite the nearly endless options, the following examples of pre-existing conditions:

  • Previously fractured bones.
  • Backache.
  • Neck pain from a herniated disc.
  • Strains, sprains, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

While accidents make existing medical disorders worse, not all worsen pre-existing injuries. An injury that existed before an accident could worsen, for example, diabetes, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative disc disease.

Your Pre-Existing Conditions Could Complicate Your Claim

The law states that the damages you receive when you bring a personal injury claim following an accident cannot include damages for pre-existing injuries. However, if the at-fault party’s negligent or unlawful acts worsened your pre-existing injury, the party could be financially culpable. 

A pre-existing injury could make it more challenging to establish guilt and calculate damages because of the human body’s complexity and the challenge of proving causation in particular circumstances.

Causation and Pre-Existing Conditions

The most difficult part of cases involving pre-existing conditions is showing an accident caused a particular injury. For example, it is quite obvious that the accident was the cause if you did not have back discomfort that resulted in a severe back injury.

However, healing could be more challenging if you experience lower back pain from a herniated disc from your previous profession and are later involved in a car accident. The responsible motorist or auto insurance provider can claim that your back pain is a result of a back condition you already had.

Theoretically, you could argue that your pre-existing condition was of a particular kind and intensity prior to the accident but has since changed in severity. You might highlight that, before the accident, your frequent back aches were easily controlled with over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. 

But now, waking up in the morning requires prescription medications and weekly chiropractic treatments. However, there is a lot of subjectivity involved, and an insurer or the accused in a personal injury case will most likely claim that you’re inflating the consequences of the most recent accident and underestimating the significance of the earlier one.

Pre-Existing Injury and Damages

It might be challenging to determine the damages you should receive, even though you could prove the accident worsened your pre-existing injury. Additional damages may also exist, including lost wages. It’s challenging to calculate these losses when there is no prior injury. 

Still, it becomes more difficult to quantify your more intangible losses, like”pain and suffering.” But the effort becomes even more difficult when the mishap exacerbates the earlier injury.

And no matter what estimates you do, you could be certain the individual who caused your injuries would think your total amount is excessive. Working with a trusted Bakersfield injury lawyer saves you the agony of chasing compensation while your pre-existing injury is worsened.

The “Eggshell Plaintiff” Regulation

Assume you have osteoporosis. You trip over a water puddle in one of the aisles when shopping for groceries. Although the slip-and-fall accident was not severe, your osteoporosis caused you to shatter your hip. 

Multiple operations and weeks of physical treatment are required. Should the business be required to cover your injuries if they caused your fall?  Due to the “eggshell plaintiff” regulation, the response is invariable “yes.” 

The defendant is accountable for all injuries you sustain, regardless of how they were prior to the accident. And even though the liable party could not have reasonably predicted the severity of the resulting injuries, the at-fault party must fully compensate a plaintiff for all damages, regardless of whether a pre-existing injury makes you more vulnerable to an accident injury. 

A Pre-Existing Injury Could Benefit You

A pre-existing condition could simplify receiving damage, despite its additional challenges. This is because it may be simpler to determine and quantify the harm brought on by the most recent accident if you could show your pre-accident state.

Add the claimant’s 60 years of age to the previous example of backache in a construction worker and the vehicle accident. One of the accused’s defenses following the collision is that the twisted disc probably existed before the collision due to the claimant’s advanced age and the normal degradation of his spinal discs.

MRI images, however, show the claimant’s back in the state. Due to these pre-accident doctor reports, the defendant’s defense strategies are now much more accessible to refute.

Even though a pre-existing ailment is unlikely to end your case, it might make things very difficult. Speak with a personal injury attorney for information specific to your circumstances.

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