Clients sometimes wonder, “Will a medical condition IÂ had before my accidentÂ prevent meÂ from recovering money?”
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. While in some cases a preexisting condition may impact your ability to recover, in other cases it may not foreclose you from recovery.
The outcome of the situation will vary based onÂ your specific circumstances.
Here, we’ll help you understand the different types of pre-existing conditions and how to go about pursuing compensation if you’ve been injured even if you have a pre-existing condition.
Types of Pre-existing Conditions
There are three types of pre-existing conditions:
- Conditions that are present, but do not cause pain prior to the accident;
- Conditions that are present, cause pain, and are aggravated by the accident; and,
- Conditions that are present, cause pain and are unchanged as a result of the accident.
Pre-existing conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, can either be symptomatic (showing symptoms, such as pain) or asymptomatic (having a condition, but without any symptoms, such as pain). Degenerative disc disease, common in individuals over 40 years of age, is often asymptomatic, but will often show up in an X-Ray or CT scan results. The existence of degenerative disc disease may create the erroneous assumption that the clientâ€™s pain was not the result of the accident. However, that incorrect assumption can be answered by providing a thorough accounting of the client’s medical records which reveal the client never complained of pain in the years prior to the incident or, needed additional treatment or surgery as a result of the accident.
Can You Recover For Your Injuries Despite a Pre-existing Condition?
As mentioned previously, the answer to this question will vary for each individual, depending on the unique circumstances surrounding the injury and the personal injury case. That being said, the following can be helpful to keep in mind if you’re unsure of whether or not you’ll be able to recover:
A client with a pre-existing condition is still entitled to recovery for their damages in cases in which the injury-causing accident causes new pain or in which a pre-existing injury is aggravated.
Only in cases in which the injury is the same before the accident as it is after the accident should the client not recover for his or her damages.
Getting the Help You Need After You’re Injured in an Accident
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident inÂ the Albany, Johnstown, Saugerties, Amsterdam, Catskill, Gloversville, Hudson and Capital District regions of Upstate NY, contact the personal injury attorneys at Maynard, O’Connor, Smith & Catalinotto. Our team of experienced lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve following your involvement in an accident.
Worried that your pre-existing condition will complicate your personal injury case? With Maynard, O’Connor, Smith & CatalinottoÂ on your side, you don’t have to worry. Our attorneys will work closely with you to obtain a complete and accurate medical history in order to accurately prove your case and get you the money you deserve.
Interested in learning more about pre-existing conditions and personal injury claims?Â The following resources are a good place to start:
How Will a Pre-existing Condition Impact Your Personal Injury Claim?Â – Find out how an existing injury or condition may impact your personal injury case, and learn more about why a pre-existing condition does not foreclose you from recovery.
What is Considered a Serious Injury in New York?Â – Thinking about pursuing compensation after you were involved in an accident? Find out if the injury you sustained is considered to be ‘serious’ enough to warrant pursuing a lawsuit.
Editorâ€™s Note: This content was originally published in 2015 but has been updated as of January 2018.