What if a Car Crash Aggravates a Preexisting Injury? Can You Still File a Claim?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on October 21, 2022

man grabbing lower back in painAuto accidents are physically traumatic events that put drivers and passengers at risk for serious injuries. Any preexisting injuries, such as to the neck, back or the brain, could be aggravated during the crash and get worse.

The insurance company may tell you they will not provide compensation for a preexisting injury because they are only liable for the injuries that happened in the crash. However, what they are not telling is you can seek compensation for the aggravation of an existing injury, if you can prove the injury was aggravated in the accident.

This can be a challenge, which is why crash victims whose preexisting injuries were aggravated in a crash should contact a licensed attorney to manage their case. The Maryland vehicle accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl are available to discuss your injuries and the compensation that may be available.

You may be concerned about the cost of an attorney, but our services come at no upfront cost. The initial consultation also comes at no upfront cost, and you are not obligated to hire our firm after meeting with an attorney.

Injuries That Could be Aggravated by a Crash

There are many injuries that could become aggravated in a car crash. The force of impact puts a lot of stress on the body. Organs can get jostled around. Your arms, legs or head could get hit and suffer damage.

Some of the injuries that often become worse after a car crash include:

  • Broken bones
  • Ligament damage
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • And more

It is possible for a car crash to make an underlying medical condition worse, like degenerative disc disease. You may be able to recover compensation for the worsening of this condition.

How an Injury Could Get Worse

There are a lot of ways an injury could get aggravated in a car crash. For example, if you had a broken arm before the car crash, the trauma from the accident may leave the bones out of place. You may need to have the bones reset so they can heal properly.

If you were recovering from a brain injury, like a concussion, you could suffer another concussion in the crash. Suffering two concussions in a short period of time can be very dangerous and put you at much greater risk for long-term or permanent complications. For example, you might have ongoing headaches, memory issues or other cognitive problems.

You may start experiencing more frequent pain or more intense pain. For example, if you had degenerative disc disease or another type of back injury, the pain may increase from a four to a seven or eight. You may experience this level of pain more frequently. Your mobility could also be more severely impacted.

Proving Your Preexisting Injury Was Aggravated in the Crash

This is the challenge with these types of claims. Validating these types of claims is particularly difficult because the insurance company will be looking to deny any compensation for worsening of an existing injury.

Below, we discuss some of the evidence that may help to prove your claim for aggravation of an existing injury. While you are not required to hire an attorney, proving a case can be a challenge on your own. Without an experienced attorney, details could get missed and you may not recover all the compensation you need. Without compensation, you may not be able to obtain all the recommended treatment, which could hurt your quality of life.

Medical Records

Your medical records are one of the central pieces of evidence in a claim for compensation. When a preexisting injury is involved, your lawyer is likely going to need medical records from before the crash. Records related to the car crash can be compared to records from before the crash to show the difference in your symptoms.

Sometimes your lawyer can validate a claim by showing that you rarely needed treatment for an existing medical issue before the crash. This can be compared to records of frequent treatment and appointments with doctors after the crash.

If the type of care you needed before the crash was less invasive, and after the crash you need surgery, this can help to show your preexisting condition was aggravated by the accident.

Records from Your Employer

If you need to miss work a lot after the crash, yet you rarely missed work before the crash, this may be evidence of the worsening of your existing injury. Your records may show that you need to sit down more often at your job, when you previously stood up a lot. This helps to show a change in your symptoms or more impairment of your mobility.

Statements from Family Members

Your friends and family members may be able to speak to how your activity levels and injury symptoms have changed since the car crash. Maybe you do not take part in some of the same activities you used to, or maybe you take part in those activities less often. For example, maybe you used to play a sport on a regular basis but now you are unable to.

You might not be able to go to the gym as much or do all the same exercises you used to do. Fishing, hiking, playing a musical instrument, or even just playing with your kids can be more difficult.

How Insurers Argue Against Compensating an Old Injury

The insurance company is going to fight against your claim that your existing medical issue was aggravated by the crash. That is why it is critical to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. He or she will know how to counter these claims with strong evidence. More importantly, your attorney will know how to gather this evidence.

Despite strong evidence, the insurance company may continue to claim your existing injury was not aggravated by the crash. However, they may be more likely to increase their offer of compensation if your attorney has taken cases to court in the past. Insurance companies would rather avoid going to court, because of the added time and expense.

Give Us a Call to Discuss a Claim for Compensation

Some car crash claims can be more complicated than others. If you are seeking compensation for the aggravation of a preexisting injury, you should strongly consider finding an experienced attorney to assist you.

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl has recovered billions in compensation on behalf of injured victims. We represent clients on contingency, which means we are not paid for our services unless we secure compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Contact us today to discuss the legal process. Call 410-401-9979.