When an Accident Aggravates a Pre-Existing Condition or Injury
It’s not uncommon for some people to think a claim can’t be filed after an accident if they have a pre-existing injury that was aggravated by the crash. There is oftentimes the assumption that only new injuries would be considered. However, if it can be proven that the accident caused old injuries to become worse, claimants may still recover compensation.
When can a pre-existing condition or injury be covered in an injury claim?
It would be very difficult to have a pre-existing medical issue covered in a claim if it wasn’t disclosed from the start. Many make the mistake of trying to keep a pre-existing condition hidden, believing that revealing it will lead to claim denial.
But if it’s discovered later on, this could be held against a claimant. As a result, it could prevent recovery of damages that might have otherwise been available.
Degenerative conditions are an example of when an injury might be covered; for instance, a disc in the spine that breaks down as a person ages. The person might not have had any pain or may experience minimal pain. If the accident caused the disc to become worse — such as break open — and now the pain has significantly increased, this might be covered in a claim.
Additionally, let’s say an old neck injury from a previous accident might flare up from time to time when doing strenuous activity. If the accident reinjures the neck and now the pain is constant, this can be another example of when pre-existing injuries might be included in a claim.
Keep in mind that even in these types of circumstances, compensation may be less than it what would have been if it was a new injury. Worsening of a pre-existing condition can be covered, but claims may be more complex, especially if the insurance company unfairly attempts to reduce or deny the claim. It can be beneficial to seek legal advice about pre-existing conditions when in an accident.
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