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Pre-Existing Injuries and Auto Accidents

By Norman Younker on May 02, 2015


Doctor working with a woman in a neck braceDealing with the trauma and upset of a car crash can be difficult enough without the headache of a complicated legal case. At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our team of lawyers help victims of auto accidents fight for their rights and pursue just compensation. Being in a car crash can be physically, emotionally, and financially taxing. Our extensive network and sizable legal staff can help you better understand your case, collect pivotal evidence, and argue for appropriate recompense. We have the resources and experience to assist with complex cases. Read on to learn more about the relationship between pre-existing injuries and auto accidents from our Utah legal team. 

Can I File a Claim if I Have a Pre-Existing Injury? 

If you suffered from a medical condition prior to your auto accident, you might be under the impression that this could hurt your case. The faulty party or insurance company may attempt to argue that your case is invalid because you were already treating the resulting condition. For example, if you were already seeking treatment for back pain or chronic headaches before your incident, the opposition may argue that it is impossible to prove that the accident worsened your condition and raised your bills. However, these are simply intimidation tactics. Even if you suffered from a prior disorder or condition, you can seek the compensation you deserve from a negligent driver, and our legal team can help. 

The “Eggshell” Concept

A pre-existing injury could actually help your auto accident case against a negligent party due to the “eggshell” theory. This legal principle indicates that the victim of a crash should not be penalized for being in a weakened state, much like an eggshell. The responsible individual or company must take accountability for every aspect of an accident. This means that a negligent party could not argue for reduced compensation on the grounds that medical bills might have been lower for a victim that didn’t previously suffer from arthritis or another pre-existing condition.

Making Your Case

In a nuanced case such as an auto accident involving a pre-existing injury, it is even more important to gather the right supporting materials for your claim. Our legal team can help you obtain the following:

  • Witness testimony. This could include accounts from individuals who were present during the accident, as well as statements from medical professionals who assessed your injury.
  • Police reports. These records are often instrumental in auto accident cases.
  • Photographs of the involved vehicles. These can help our lawyers recreate or model the auto accident to demonstrate negligence.
  • Accurate medical documentation. If you have a pre-existing injury, it is important to be transparent about this fact. It may also be helpful to see a different physician who can provide a second opinion about your condition, treatment recommendations, and expected costs. You will need to show that your discomfort, disability, and expenses will be higher as a result of your recent accident, as compared with your prior medical costs.

We can work to collect the above and other pertinent data to help you obtain fair compensation after your auto accident.

Contact Our Law Firm Today for Assistance

If you’re struggling with a seemingly difficult auto accident case, such as one involving pre-existing injury, our experienced legal team can help you pursue suitable damages. Contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC today to learn more or seek help with your case.  

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