Plaintiffs are often worried about how pre-existing injuries will affect their personal injury claim. Plaintiffs in personal injury claims will often have pre-existing injuries. They fear that disclosing these injuries may weaken their case. Pre-existing injuries are one of the first things insurance adjusters ask about. The defendant’s insurance adjuster will be looking for any way possible to reduce the plaintiff’s damages. Adjusters will frequently attempt to argue that the plaintiff was not injured in the accident. They argue the plaintiff already had these injuries, and therefore, they do not have to compensate the plaintiff.
Defendants must take the plaintiff as they find him. While a plaintiff cannot recover damages for pre-existing injuries, they may recover if the accident worsened their pre-existing injuries. For example, if a plaintiff broke his leg two years prior, then gets in a car accident and breaks his leg again and the break is aggravated due to his prior injury, the plaintiff may recover damages for the aggravation.
It is very important that plaintiffs understand how pre-existing injuries can affect their claim. Plaintiffs must disclose these injuries to their own attorneys and the opposing side. They must disclose their pre-existing injuries even if they are completely unrelated to their current injuries. The reason is that if a plaintiff fails to disclose pre-existing injuries it can seriously affect their credibility. If the plaintiff says they have no pre-existing injuries and the defendant discovers that this was not true, the plaintiff will appear dishonest, even if the pre-existing injuries are completely unrelated to the current accident. Appearing dishonest can be extremely damaging to a plaintiffs case. If a jury sees that a plaintiff was dishonest about one thing, they could easily be dishonest about everything else. It is absolutely necessary that plaintiffs be honest about pre-existing injuries to their attorneys and the opposing side.
In some situations, pre-existing injuries can help the plaintiff’s claim. If a plaintiff is more prone to injury, it will be easier to show that a low impact accident could cause the injuries that were sustained. A jury may be unconvinced that a low speed accident could cause the plaintiff’s injuries. However, if the jury then heard that the plaintiff has pre-existing injuries, they may be more inclined to find the plaintiff’s story credible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Lambert Firm today by calling 1-800-521-1750.