Can a Pre-Existing Injury Impact My Personal Injury Claim?

February 28, 2022 | Personal Injury

If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity in Texas, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, insurance carriers and at-fault parties will use various tactics to limit how much money they payout in a settlement, including bringing up an injury victim’s pre-existing injuries.

Here, we want to discuss how pre-existing injuries can impact a personal injury claim and the steps you can take to recover a full compensation even if you have a pre-existing injury.

What a Pre-Existing Injury Does to a Claim

Most people, at least those who have gotten past their teenage years, have experienced a pre-existing injury that required medical care at some point in their lifetime. This can include an injury caused by an accident, a chronic injury that affects day-to-day life, or even a previous surgery that required some recovery time.

Even though a past injury may not seem like a big deal, it is when insurance carriers for other parties decide to use these injuries against you. If you sustain an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity, you should be able to recover compensation. However, one of the most common tactics the insurance carriers will use is to try and get you to sign over your complete medical history to them. They will do this by saying that they need the history to complete the claim and payout compensation, but the reality is that they want to examine your entire past to see if they can use anything in your medical history to explain your current pain and suffering.

Should I Disclose Pre-Existing Injuries to My Lawyer?

Yes, you should absolutely disclose your pre-existing injuries to your attorney, and you should do so as soon as possible. The existence of a pre-existing injury does not mean that you will receive no compensation, and hiding any previous injuries from your attorney will only harm your case later on.

When an Austin car accident attorney can operate with full information of your situation, they will be entirely prepared to counter any tactics brought forward by the insurance carriers and legal teams for the at-fault party. First, your attorney will work diligently to ensure that the other party does not gain access to your complete medical history. All the other side needs is current medical records related to the current incident.

Even if a pre-existing injury is aggravated by a current incident caused by another party, you should still be able to recover compensation because the “aggravation” of the injury would not have occurred had it not been for their actions.


What Happens If I Don’t Disclose a Pre-Existing Condition?

If you fail to disclose a pre-existing injury while your case is ongoing, this may or may not make a difference in your overall claim. Failing to disclose the injury to your personal attorney could lead to setbacks later on if the other party discovers the pre-existing injury, but you are under no obligation to tell the other side that you have been injured in the past. 

However, if your claim involves seeking compensation for the aggravation of a pre-existing injury, then you will indeed have to disclose the pre-existing injury in order to show the insurance carrier or personal injury jury how the current incident aggravated the pre-existing condition.