Many injured people think if they had pre-existing injuries prior to their car crash, they are not entitled to compensation for the injuries from the car crash. This is simply not true. Cases involving pre-existing injuries are actually quite common.
Imagine a scenario where a woman falls off a horse 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. Fast-forward twenty years later when this same woman is sideswiped by a careless driver. The woman’s pre-existing bulging disc is aggravated. Although 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? Her pain and suffering? The careless driver 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. 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. A car crash attorney 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.
If you suffered from injuries or physical ailments prior to your car crash, don’t assume that you are not entitled to compensation for your harms and losses. It is important that you speak with an injury attorney right away in order to learn your rights under the law. Call us at 855-522-5291 or find us on-line at http://www.tapellalaw.com.