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

personal injury | September 17, 2021

Injuries occur all the time. In some cases, individuals are harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of others. When that happens, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, insurance carriers and legal teams often push back when they find out a person has a pre-existing condition. Here, we want to discuss whether or not a pre-existing injury can affect a current personal injury claim for an individual seeking compensation for their medical bills and pain and suffering.

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

Why Would a Pre-Existing Injury Affect a Personal Injury Claim?

Chances are, most people reading this article have had some type of injury in the past. Should this mean that you are not able to recover compensation current injury you sustain in the future?
In order to properly answer that question, we have to look at who is responsible for paying out compensation in a personal injury claim. In general, these claims are resolved through settlement with insurance carriers. Insurance carriers are always looking to limit how much money they pay out in compensation, and they will do anything they can to lowercase a settlement amount or even deny a claim altogether.

One of the ways that insurance carriers defend themselves and their policyholders against injury claims is by saying that the injury victim has a pre-existing condition that is causing the current pain and suffering. In other words, they try to shift the blame away from the current injury incident and onto something in the injury victim’s past.

Pre-existing injuries, at their simplest definition, are any type of injury or illness a person has sustained in the past that could explain their current symptoms or be aggravated by a current accident. There are a variety of pre-existing injuries that a person could suffer from that could be used to try to cut them off from a current personal injury settlement:

  • Previous back injuries
  • Ongoing or previous joint conditions
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Cardiovascular diseases

You Should be Able to Recover Compensation

The existence of a pre-existing injury or illness should not prevent a person from recovering compensation if they are injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual in California. Just because somebody has been hurt before does not mean that an at-fault party is absolved of any responsibility for current injuries or pain and suffering.

Various types of injury incidents, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and defective product claims can cause new injuries, or they can aggravate existing injuries. We need to make it very clear – this is pain and suffering that an injury victim would not otherwise have suffered from if not for the current negligence of another party.

If we took the time to think about the argument that a pre-existing injury can keep someone from recovering compensation from a negligent party, this would mean that most people would not be able to recover compensation if they have ever been injured in the past. That is not how civil personal injury law works in California or in the US.

Individuals harmed by others should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, pain and suffering losses, loss of quality of life damages, and more. If you or somebody you care about has been injured by the negligence of someone else, you need to speak with a Sacramento personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if you have a pre-existing injury or illness, this should not keep you from recovering compensation.