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Pre-existing Injuries Do Not Prevent Accident Injury Compensation

Friday, Jan. 29th 2016

Many people injured in car accidents or motorcycle accidents think if they had pre-existing injuries prior to the crash, they are not entitled to compensation for the injuries from the car crash. This is not true. Cases involving pre-existing injuries are actually quite common.

Imagine a that a woman falls as a child and suffers a bulging disc in her neck. She has x-rays, an MRI, and completes a course of physical therapy. When she is released from physical therapy, she is symptom free. Twenty years later, this same woman is sideswiped by a careless driver and experiences an accident injury. The woman’s pre-existing bulging disc is aggravated. Even though she had been pain free for twenty years, she is forced to return to physical therapy and receives several steroid injections in her neck. Who pays for this medical treatment, her lost wages, and her pain and suffering? The careless driver who caused the accident should pay for these harms and losses.

As we age, our spine undergoes various changes. The discs between our vertebrae are compressible and soft. Over time, these spinal discs break down, or “degenerate” in several ways (for more information on Degenerative Disc Diseases, visit http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/degenerative-disc-disease-topic-overview). The discs may lose fluid, which will lessen the space between our vertebrae. The discs can suffer tiny tears in the outer layer and even the inner layers. These changes, often referred to as arthritis, are common and will occur even without trauma.

Because people naturally suffer changes to their spine, with or without trauma, the law is clear – if the car crash causes or contributes to your injuries, the at fault driver is responsible. Because no one is in perfect health, you do not have to be in perfect health or in perfect shape just prior to the crash in order to be entitled to compensation. An accident and injury lawyer will speak with you about your prior injuries. It is also important for your attorney to speak with your doctor and ask, in his/her professional opinion, if your prior injuries were aggravated by the impact of the crash. The answer to this question often depends upon how long you were pain free prior to the crash and your current symptoms and complaints compared to those prior to the crash. Car or motorcycle accident injuries are serious and speaking to accident injury lawyer will help insure that you don’t lose out on the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident and would like information about possible remedies, please do not hesitate to contact the Northland Injury Law firm for a free consultation at 816-400-4878. An attorney experienced in the field of auto accident injury law will be ready to advise you of your options and counsel you through this difficult time.


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