Pre-existing Injuries In Personal Injury Cases.

June 25, 2013

Not every Buffalo personal injury lawsuit involves an injured person who was in perfect physical shape before the accident.  Particularly in the case of older people, minor physical problems may become much more serious following a personal injury accident.

A pre-existing injury can complicate a personal injury case.  The defense typically will argue that the injured person’s current condition is not much different than before the accident and, as a result, they are not entitled to compensation.  While this can be a difficult hurdle to overcome, someone who suffers an aggravation or activation of a pre-existing condition is entitled to pursue damages.

An injured person may recover damages when an accident causes a pre-existing condition to flare up or become more serious.  A new injury to a part of the body where a prior injury had occurred also entitles the injured person to pursue damages.  When considering this issue, a jury will decide whether the injured person had a pre-existing condition and, if so, was it worsened by the accident.  If they determine that the accident did worsen the condition, then the injured person may be able to recover damages.

The injured party, however, may only be compensated for injuries directly caused by the accident.  The defendant is not responsible for ailments or injuries that existed before the accident.  As a result, a person with a pre-existing condition may receive less compensation than someone who started out fully healthy but who ends up in the same physical condition.

If you have suffered a personal injury and have any questions, we would be happy to help you. Please feel free to call us at 716-400-0000.