How will preexisting conditions affect my personal injury claim?

In automobile accident cases, it is quite common for a Plaintiff to make a claim for neck or back pain. One of the insurance company’s favorite defenses is to argue that the Plaintiff had a prior injury and that they are therefore not responsible. Many people, especially those middle aged and older, have seen a doctor for back or neck pain at some point in their life. The defense will obtain those prior records and argue to the jury that your injury predated the accident and was therefore not caused by the accident.

It is very important that a Plaintiff is honest with his attorney and discloses all prior injuries and accidents. Most of the time, while the Plaintiff may have had prior neck or back pain, those problems had been resolved well before the accident. In those scenarios, it will be difficult for the defense to argue that their accident did not cause the pain because the prior medical records can prove that the Plaintiff had not had any recent issues and the accident therefore caused new injuries.

Even if the Plaintiff had ongoing issues and pain leading up to the accident, the collision often makes the pain worse. Florida law allows a claim for aggravation of a preexisting condition. For example, if a Plaintiff had neck pain and complained to a doctor just a month prior to an accident, but the accident aggravated the pain and possibly even made it worse, a jury can award damages for the aggravation of the prior condition.

The factual and legal issues surrounding prior injuries can be complex. It is therefore critical that you speak with an experienced injury attorney to discuss the effects that a preexisting condition can have on your injury claim.

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