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How Pre-existing Injuries Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
A pre-existing medical condition refers to any injuries you suffered prior to the injury you are claiming in a current lawsuit. Pre-existing injuries and medical conditions are typically the subject of most personal injury claims. If you are filing a lawsuit, you are required to disclose whether you have had any pre-existing injuries. These injuries and conditions may be factored in when calculating an award for damages.
Examples of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
While any injury or condition that existed prior to the new injury can be considered a pre-existing medical condition, the most important are those that affect or interact with your newer injuries. Some examples of common pre-existing injuries include:
- Injuries you have suffered from a previous unrelated accident
- Birth defects or congenital abnormalities
- Medical conditions that surface only during times of stress, such as asthma
- Injuries that have not properly healed or are in the process of healing
The Affect of Pre-Existing Conditions
Having a pre-existing injury or condition will not disqualify you from recovering damages in your personal injury claim. However, it may impact the value of your claim. During settlement negotiations or trial, your pre-existing conditions will most definitely be topic of conversation.
However, in order for your previous injuries to seriously impact your claim, the defense has the burden of showing that their pre-existing conditions have a causal relationship to your current injuries. Your attorney should be ready to defend your medical history and prove that your current injuries are primarily due to the accident and not a prior medical condition. In order for your attorney to properly prepare for such a situation, it is imperative that you disclose all of your prior medical history as early in the game as possible.
If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by another party, you need to hire an experienced attorney to fight for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a New Jersey truck accident lawyer, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.