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THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIOR INJURIES IN PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS

September 25, 2019 • by Wiener & Lambka

Each personal injury case is unique. Many involve people who have some type of injury or condition that is exacerbated by the injuries caused due to a negligent actor. When there are underlying injuries, the case usually becomes more complex legally and medically.

If another driver negligently caused you harm, then they are legally responsible to compensate you for the harm caused. The connection between the harm and the negligent act is always analyzed by the insurance company for a break in the causal chain. Sometimes the relationship is clear cut. If you had a broken arm and then get into a car accident then unless the car accident made it worse. The negligent driver would not be responsible for your continued care with your broken arm unless they made the care necessary when it wouldn’t have been otherwise. If the accident caused further injury to your arm then a doctor’s opinion on exactly what the accident did is needed. Opinions are not always set in stone and certainly, are subject to examination and comparison with other opinions and therefore the amount of worsening may be fought over with competing doctor’s opinions.

Many injuries are less clear. Injuries to an adult’s back or neck are harder to always pinpoint. IF the patient had prior problems with that area of their body, then how does a doctor determine what injuries were pre-existing and what injuries are new. Maybe the condition is pre-existing and now is worse. What treatment would have ben had anyway and what treatment is only because of the injuries from the collision? These cases require expert legal analysis and excellent medical care in order to be presented properly.
Many people will simply conclude that because they know the difference in their injuries that this won’t be a problem, but this would be incorrect. Insurance companies are looking for reasons to justify paying as little as possible in claims. This is how they make their money (well, one way), and your subjective understanding of what caused your injuries is not even admissible in court; that testimony must come from a doctor. This is a figurative minefield for the person who doesn’t have an excellent understanding of the law and the medicine involved.

At Wiener and Lambka, PS we’re proud of our work in making sure that we understand all aspects of each client’s case. Many clients come to us only after they have realized that their case is much more complex than they originally thought. Often, by that time, the case’s problems are not as easily addressed as they could have been earlier on. Our consultations are free of charge and with no obligation to retain us. There is nothing to lose and often much to gain from a simple phone call. If you have questions about your personal injury matter, please contact our office.

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