Can the Insurance Company Say My Injury is Pre-Existing ?
Make no mistake, an insurance company will frequently seize on any prior mishap, accident or injury, no matter how slight or remote. That insurance company may argue that any current complaints from the injury victim are related- not to the event for which this insurance company bears financial responsibility, but rather to some, or any, prior incident relating to the same body part. It certainly not uncommon for a person, past a given age, to have had some form of "injury" to several parts of their body. This could result from accidents, congenital conditions, sport injuries, or any other happening.
".....I hurt my back once before. Now I got in an accident, and feel a lot worse."
Consider someone who sustained a back injury a decade ago as a result of a work-related injury, and assume that same person is today involved in an automobile accident and has back pain. Can there be a financial recovery for pain and suffering for the new automobile accident? Won't the insurance company say the injury and pain is "preexisting"? The law provides that the effect that any injury might have on a given individual- who might be predisposed to injury because of age, general health, or a particular medical condition- should not affect the damages recovered.
The law also provides that a person who had a particular condition before the accident can recover for an aggravation, exacerbation, or worsening of that underlying condition.
An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in proving that aggravation, exacerbation, or worsening. To be sure, the insurance company will always argue that your injury and pain come from any source under then sun other than the accident for which you are making a claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you document, quantify, and prove through medical evidence the precise nature and extent of the aggravation, exacerbation, or worsening of an underlying condition.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 3/8/19.