What if I aggravate an old injury in an accident?
One question frequently heard from people inquiring about a potential claim is: “I’m really hurting after this accident, but I’ve been hurt in the past, do I still have a claim?” The answer is yes. The law allows for a person who suffers from a pre-existing medical condition to recover for an aggravation or exacerbation of that condition. For example, if a person has back surgery, and as they are leaving the hospital the automatic doors malfunction and knock them to the ground, the law will permit a recovery for a new injury, such as a broken arm, and an aggravation to the back condition, such as the need to redo the back surgery.
It is very important to be forthright with your doctor if you have a prior medical condition which is changed because of an accident. Your medical care providers need to know about prior conditions in order to assess the full nature of an injury incident. For example, a person with a sore neck after an accident who has no prior neck injury may be assessed very differently than a person with neck pain after an accident who suffered a fracture to their neck 10 years earlier playing football. Legally however, people who aggravate old injuries in an accident are entitled to recover damages just as are people who receive new injuries.
Never hesitate to consult one of our attorneys if you need help to better understand your legal rights.