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Filing An Auto Accident Claim For A Preexisting Injury

by Marilyn Olson

The primary motive behind car accident claims is to compensate victims for the injuries they sustained from a motor vehicle accident. This concept focuses primarily on new injuries, but victims can also file suit if they have preexisting medical conditions; learn how.  


Typically, the benchmark for filing a claim for a preexisting injury is aggravation. In short, you need to document that the auto accident made an existing condition worsen. For example, consider someone with an existing back injury that was managed well before the collision. However, after the accident, the degree of injury has worsened, and the victim is in constant discomfort. In this scenario, the victim would likely have the right to file a claim for an exacerbation of their injuries caused by the accident. 


Unfortunately, you have to do more than claim that your preexisting condition has worsened. The insurance company will generally make you prove it. As part of this process, you should expect your medical records to be reviewed. The party representing the insurance company will review your records to look for any indication that your condition worsened before the accident to disprove your claim. They might also look for any signs that you are not following medical requirements, so be sure to meet all your visits and therapy sessions.

Pain and Suffering

In addition to exacerbating the injury, you might also have the option to file for pain and suffering. Consider the previous example again. Instead of their back injury being managed, the increased discomfort has made it hard for the person to experience a pain-free day. In this instance, the victim may be able to file suit for non-economic compensation for the pain and suffering they experience. The bar for pain and suffering is often high, so it is best to have an attorney investigate this matter.


Unfortunately, some people can find that they are denied payment altogether. As previously mentioned, the insurance company will perform an investigation to determine whether or not your injuries were exacerbated. However, even if the result of this investigation reveals that there was some progression in the disease, it must be proven that the worsening was greater than what would have happened naturally. Like pain and suffering, this process is especially complex, so it is essential you speak with an attorney to ensure you are protected during this process. 

Speak with an auto accident attorney to assess your situation and move forward with filing a claim.