Pre-Existing Injuries: Will They Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

If you have a pre-existing injury, you might wonder how that will impact a personal injury claim if you decide to file one. Bringing a personal injury claim against a person or entity isn’t fun, but sometimes, it’s your best option. If someone harmed you, and you feel you can prove that in court, then you may have no choice but to get litigious.

If you need a personal injury lawyer, Utah residents, you should know the state has some of the best around. If you speak to one, though, make sure you mention any pre-existing injuries you have. These might come into play, and they can impact a civil trial’s outcome.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

If you use the term “personal injury claim,” or if your lawyer uses it, then what they’re talking about is a lawsuit you’re bringing against a person, group of people, or perhaps a business entity in some instances. In other words, you’re suing the party you believe to be at fault.

This is the same as saying you are bringing a civil lawsuit against them. Civil lawsuits are different from criminal lawsuits.

It’s possible that someone might face both criminal and civil charges for the same actions in some cases, but you need only concern yourself with the civil side of things. You can leave the criminal side up to the police and district attorneys.

Pre-Existing Injuries: Will They Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

 What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

As for pre-existing conditions, these are simply conditions, usually of a medical nature, that existed before the accident or incident that injured you.

A pre-existing condition could be something like a soft tissue injury. It could be something like a bad ankle you must deal with because you sprained it years ago playing Little League baseball. 

How Might Such a Condition Impact a Civil Lawsuit?

Some pre-existing conditions won’t impact your civil case at all. It all depends on what exactly you’re suing the person or entity for and what damage you’re alleging that they did to you.

If you have a pre-existing condition that very obviously has nothing to do with what this person or entity did, then it should not matter. However, maybe you have a situation where a car hit you from behind and caused whiplash. You already had a previous neck injury from earlier in your life, though.

If so, then the defendant’s lawyer might try to argue that you were already injured, and their client didn’t cause you any worse of an injury than you already had. You can see how this could be a problem for you. You might feel certain your injury is worse now than before the accident or incident that harmed you, but now, you will have to prove it.

If you can prove you’re injured worse now than you were before through medical evidence, then the jury might still find in your favor and award you damages. It’s always possible they will think the incident didn’t cause you any additional damage, though. 

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