Can I File A Personal Injury Claim If I Have A Pre-Existing Injury?
An accident can happen to someone who is completely healthy or someone with a pre-existing condition. If you were involved in an accident in Kentucky because of another party’s negligence with a pre-existing injury, you might be wondering if you can file a personal injury claim and recover compensation. So, are you allowed to file a personal injury claim if you had a pre-existing injury before your accident? Yes, you are. You generally cannot recover compensation for a pre-existing injury in a personal injury claim. But if your accident aggravated your pre-existing injury, you can recover compensation for the extent to which the accident affected your pre-existing injury. Read on to learn more.
What Is a Pre-existing Injury?
In personal injury law, this is an injury that you had before your accident. Common examples of pre-existing injuries include;
- Back injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Neck injuries
- Brain injuries
Does a Pre-existing Injury Bar You From Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
A pre-existing injury will not affect your personal injury claim or bar you from recovering compensation. Consider this example. You sustained a back injury in a car accident ten years ago, and that injury had not completely healed before your recent accident. Before your recent accident, your back injury was not interfering with your life as you were only experiencing a bit of pain now and then. If your recent accident left you with chronic back pain that now affects your life, you have the right to recover compensation in a personal injury claim. The accident has worsened your pre-existing back injury and inflicted pain you were not experiencing before. Now you cannot do the things you did with ease before your accident.
The Eggshell Skull Rule
In the U.S., there is a rule known as the eggshell skull rule. Under this rule, a defendant in a personal injury case cannot use a victim’s weakness or sensitivity as a defense. The law states that a defendant in a personal injury case cannot speculate about what might have occurred if a victim did not have a pre-existing condition that predisposed them to a severe injury.
Should You Disclose Pre-existing Injuries?
After suffering an injury in an accident because of another party’s fault, you may be tempted not to disclose your pre-existing injury. But should you keep your pre-existing injury a secret? If you fail to disclose information about your pre-existing condition, it could negatively impact your case. Hiding information about your pre-existing injury could even result in your case being dismissed.
Proving That a Pre-existing Injury Was Aggravated in an Accident
If you had a pre-existing injury before your accident, ensure you tell your attorney about it. Your attorney can help you prove that the accident worsened your pre-existing injury. For example, your attorney can work with trusted medical professionals to show how the accident aggravated your pre-existing injury.
Contact a London Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a Kentucky accident because of another party’s negligence and had a pre-existing injury before your accident, do not let your pre-existing injury stop you from filing a personal injury claim. Also, do not accept less than you deserve just because you had a pre-existing condition before your accident. Our London personal injury attorneys at Cessna & George Law Firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve.