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Can I Be Compensated For Pre-Existing Injuries In A Car Accident?

Injured woman sitting on ground with her back against a damaged car after a car accident; concept for aggravation of pre-existing injuries in a car accident.

Navigating a personal injury claim after a car accident can be challenging, especially when pre-existing injuries come into play. In New Hampshire, the legal landscape surrounding pre-existing conditions and their impact on compensation can be complex. When a car accident exacerbates a pre-existing injury, seeking damages for the worsened condition becomes crucial. This is where the expertise of a personal injury lawyer can often make a significant difference for car accident victims. Understanding how pre-existing injuries may complicate a personal injury claim is essential. The aftermath of a car crash can lead to unforeseen complications and symptoms. A skilled personal injury lawyer well-versed in New Hampshire laws may be able to provide invaluable support to an individual seeking rightful compensation for aggravated pre-existing injuries in a car accident. To learn more, schedule your private consultation with a New Hampshire personal injury attorney with Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC by calling (603) 707-4800 today. 

Understanding the Concept of Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions refer to any health condition that existed before the event under consideration –– in the case of an auto accident claim, a motor vehicle collision. Pre-existing conditions can range from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma, to past injuries or surgeries. Some pre-existing conditions, including pre-existing injuries, are more likely to be aggravated or exacerbated by the stresses placed on a body during a car accident than others. 

Recognizing the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine

Although New Hampshire does not require licensed drivers to maintain auto insurance policies, § 264:3 NH Rev. Stat. does require any driver who may be liable for damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident to furnish either proof of auto insurance or, alternatively, proof of “security” –– essentially, the financial wherewithal to cover the cost of a likely judgment. This statute helps to ensure that individuals who are injured in car accidents due to another party’s negligence will have legal recourse for pursuing compensation. 

Despite these provisions of state law, individuals with pre-existing injuries may face unique challenges in pursuing compensation for damages. One critical aspect that victims of car accidents with pre-existing injuries need to comprehend is the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine. According to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, the eggshell plaintiff rule, also known as the eggshell skull rule, holds that a party liable for damages in a personal injury case is liable for the actual damages caused by the accident, regardless of whether another plaintiff might have suffered lesser damages from the same negligent actions (or inaction) on the part of the defendant. In simpler terms, if the accident exacerbates a pre-existing injury, the at-fault party may still be held responsible for the worsening of the injured party’s condition.

Liability and Pre-Existing Conditions: The Intricacies

Navigating the intricacies of liability and pre-existing conditions in car accident cases is a complex process that may benefit from tailored legal expertise. A New Hampshire personal injury attorney can often be an invaluable asset for car accident victims struggling to secure appropriate compensation. A competent attorney can assist victims in proving that the defendant’s negligent actions either caused new injuries or exacerbated their pre-existing conditions. By thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the accident and analyzing medical records, a skilled lawyer can build a strong case to demonstrate the direct link between the accident and the aggravated injuries. This link can be crucial in seeking compensation for the increased medical costs and other losses resulting from the worsened pre-existing injuries. 

Additionally, legal professionals can help victims understand their rights, negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of injured individuals, and represent accident victims’ interests in civil actions if necessary. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in New Hampshire may also be in a position to provide guidance on the best course of action to ensure that victims of car accidents with pre-existing injuries receive the compensation they rightfully deserve for their damages.

Aggravated or Exacerbated Previous Injuries

When a car accident exacerbates a pre-existing condition, the victim may face challenges in pursuing compensation for the worsened injuries. In New Hampshire, individuals with pre-existing injuries need to establish a clear link between the accident and the aggravation of their condition to seek damages effectively.

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions in Motor Vehicle Collisions

In motor vehicle collisions, pre-existing conditions refer to medical issues or injuries that existed before the accident occurred. If a car accident aggravates a pre-existing condition, the victim may be entitled to compensation for the worsening of their injuries. However, proving the extent to which the accident exacerbated the pre-existing condition may require thorough documentation and in many cases may benefit from legal expertise.

Types of Pre-Existing Conditions That Can Be Aggravated in Collisions

Various pre-existing conditions can be aggravated in car accidents, including back injuries, neck pain, spinal cord damage, and other medical issues –– even potentially some types of soft tissue injuries, depending on the circumstances. Victims with pre-existing conditions need to disclose these conditions to their medical providers and legal representatives to ensure proper documentation and representation in their pursuit of compensation for aggravated injuries.

What Matters With a Pre-Existing Injury

Pre-existing injuries in a car accident may have several implications, depending on the nature and severity of the injuries before the crash and the extent to which their symptoms and prognosis were worsened by the accident. While every case will have its unique factors, there are a few general points car accident victims concerned about seeking compensation for pre-existing injuries aggravated by the crash may wish to keep in mind. 

Proximate Cause

In pursuing compensation for damages in a car accident involving pre-existing injuries, establishing proximate cause is crucial. Proximate cause refers to proving that the accident was the direct cause of aggravating the pre-existing condition. The accident victim, or their attorney if they are working with professional legal representation, will need to clearly demonstrate that the injuries worsened specifically due to the collision and not solely because of the existing condition.

Victims with pre-existing injuries must show that the accident significantly exacerbated their condition, leading to unforeseen damages or medical treatments. Successfully proving this causal relationship can be challenging, especially when insurance companies or legal entities attempt to diminish the role of the accident in worsening the pre-existing condition. A skilled personal injury attorney may be able to help accident victims navigate these complexities and effectively prove proximate cause to ensure rightful compensation for the aggravated injuries.

Making a Claim for an Aggravated Pre-Existing Injury

When seeking compensation for damages related to aggravating pre-existing injuries in a car accident, victims have options for pursuing claims. They can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or opt for civil action, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of aggravation to pre-existing injuries.

In either instance, pre-existing injuries may complicate the process of securing appropriate compensation, so engaging a knowledgeable personal injury attorney may be helpful. These legal professionals have often developed significant expertise in handling complex cases involving aggravated pre-existing injuries, which means they may be in a position to provide advice and perspective to individuals struggling to pursue compensation for pre-existing injuries aggravated in a car accident. An experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyer with Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC may be able to review your case and help you consider your legal options.

You Have Legal Rights Regardless of Your Medical History

In the context of pre-existing injuries in a car accident, individuals in New Hampshire should be aware of their legal rights when pursuing compensation for damages, whether through an insurance claim against the at-fault driver or via civil action. When a car accident aggravates pre-existing injuries, it can significantly impact a victim’s ability to recover fair compensation.

Proving Aggravation of Pre-existing Injuries: Victims of car accidents with pre-existing injuries face the challenge of proving that the accident directly aggravated their existing conditions. Establishing a clear link between the collision and the worsening of injuries is crucial in seeking compensation for damages.

Role of Personal Injury Attorneys: In New Hampshire, a personal injury attorney can be instrumental in assisting car accident victims struggling to secure appropriate compensation for damages, including costs of care for aggravated pre-existing injuries. These attorneys are well-versed in navigating the complexities of insurance claims and legal proceedings, ensuring that victims receive fair and just compensation.

Support for Victims: Personal injury attorneys work closely with car accident victims to gather evidence, liaise with medical professionals to assess the impact of the accident on pre-existing injuries, and advocate on behalf of their clients to maximize compensation. They play a pivotal role in protecting the rights of victims and ensuring they receive the necessary support and resources to recover from their injuries.

Navigating Insurance Challenges: Insurance companies often attempt to downplay the significance of pre-existing injuries in car accident claims, seeking to minimize payouts. A personal injury attorney with substantial negotiating experience will be familiar with insurance company tactics and prepared to offer effective counter-offers and advocate for the rights of victims to secure adequate compensation for their damages, including those related to aggravated pre-existing injuries.

Getting Help With Pre-Existing Condition Accident Claims

Navigating the complexities of pre-existing injuries in a car accident can be daunting. Seeking assistance from knowledgeable personal injury attorneys is crucial in proving the direct impact of the accident on worsened conditions. An experienced attorney may be able to help gather essential evidence, advocate for fair compensation, and ensure that victims’ rights are protected. Despite challenges from insurance companies, victims have legal avenues to pursue adequate compensation with the right support. Enlisting the support of an experienced attorney can help individuals dealing with aggravated pre-existing injuries after a car accident to strengthen their case and pursue their right to compensation with peace of mind. Schedule your free appointment with a personal injury attorney from Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC by calling (603) 707-4800 to discuss your case. 


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About the Attorney
Jesse Friedman

Jesse has personally represented thousands of clients throughout the State - from juvenile delinquency offenses through homicides. He has extensive trial and litigation experience and has obtained favorable outcomes for thousands of clients throughout the years.

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