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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Types of Pre-Existing Injuries That May Affect an Injury Claim


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5/15/2013
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Injury claims stemming from a car crash or other accident can sometimes become complicated when there are injuries or conditions that existed beforehand. Insurance companies may try to blame injuries from a crash on these pre-existing injuries or medical issues.

What types of pre-existing injuries more commonly affect an injury claim?

Certain types of injuries have a greater likelihood of impacting a claim. Soft tissue injuries are among the most common, which typically involve damage to tendons, muscles and ligaments. The severity will depend on the impact and which part of the body is injured.

One example of a soft tissue injury is whiplash, caused by the head and neck moving forward and backward with sudden force. Rear-end crashes are commonly associated with this type of injury. Sprains and strains may also affect other areas of the body in addition to the neck, such as in the lower back.

Another type of soft tissue injury is a herniated disc. This is a back or neck injury that occurs when one of the discs that cushions the spine breaks open and/or bulges. Direct injury to the spine may cause this injury, while aging may make individuals more susceptible to a herniated disc.

Certain medical conditions may also be brought up as a pre-existing condition in an accident claim. This may include degenerative conditions, such as those affecting the vertebrae that may make them more susceptible to injury. Arthritis may be brought up as a pre-existing condition.

How do pre-existing injuries impact claims?

Whether these types of pre-existing injuries were caused by a prior accident, wear and tear on the body, a sports injury or any other cause, it can impact the filing of an injury claim. Insurance companies may argue that the crash wasn’t the cause of current symptoms, but that symptoms had already existed.

With these types of injuries, it can sometimes be a challenge to prove that a car accident made conditions worse. Because pre-existing conditions or injuries can impact an injury claim, it is critical that they are disclosed from the very start. Failing to do so could result in a denied claim, while disclosure may result in compensation if these pre-existing injuries were aggravated by the accident.



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