Injuries to the neck, shoulder, back, or spine from auto accidents can aggravate preexisting conditions that were not previously causing accident victims any pain. Insurance companies will try to use such preexisting conditions to lower the value of your settlement, but preexisting conditions do not bar you from recovering money damages in your auto or other serious accident. If you are concerned that you are not getting the settlement you deserve from because you have a preexisting medical condition that was affected or aggravated by your accident, contact us now for a free consultation at 541-617-0555.
Preexisting Injuries and Your Personal Injury Claim:
In the above video clip, our lead litigation attorney and partner Tim Williams discusses the situation of an accident victim who has preexisting health conditions in the same area of the body where he/she has sustain accident-related injuries. This situation is quite common, and if you find yourself if this position, it would behoove you to speak with a personal injury attorney right away. You will want to be represented by someone who has years of experience with accident cases in which injury victims have preexisting injuries.
For example, let’s say a person has ongoing neck pain from a prior injury, and the neck pain is down to a level like here (indicating), let’s say this is bad, bad pain; this is no pain at all, the level of the table. The neck pain is down; it’s like a two out of ten. And they get in an accident and it is exacerbated or made worse—it’s like an eight out of ten. So what is the person to do? What are they entitled to, you know, from the insurance company in that situation where they had ongoing neck pain before but it was made worse by the accident.
Oregon law provides that if you had a level two out of ten neck pain before your accident, and you have a level eight out of ten neck pain after the accident, then you can recover the difference from the insurance company. While you can’t recover damages for the full level eight neck pain that you are feeling, you can recover damages that reflect the difference between your former pain level and your current pain level. Your recovery should ultimately include damages for whatever portion of your injury or disability is a result of the defendant’s negligence.
We hope that you found this educational video helpful. Please view our other videos for additional information on your rights and responsibilities concerning common accident-related injuries: