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Does a Pre-Existing Injury Lessen Your Personal Injury Claim?

Let’s be honest, insurance companies are not out to fully compensate anyone and everyone presenting an injury claim related to auto accidents, premises liability claims or even dog/animal bite matters. The insurance adjuster’s job is usually to pay out as little as possible, whether they personally like you or you are a long-time client. How do you think insurance companies can afford to constantly advertise the benefits of their company and coverage? It’s not by paying out every claim that is presented. After all, an acting lizard does not come cheap.

One of the most common tactics an insurance adjuster will use to deny or lessen your personal injury case is to blame injuries on a pre-existing injury. Simply put, they will attempt to say that a claimant was suffering with a pre-existing injury prior to an alleged accident, thereby not related and absolving them of any monetary responsibility.    

Even if you suffer from a pre-existing injury, many times an accident can worsen an injury, thus making the insurance company responsible for the new damages. The extent of new damage to a pre-existing injury can be quantified by your treating physician who is well versed in his/her patients’ history. The following are just some of the common pre-existing injuries that we see worsened in an accident.

  • Concussion related injuries
  • Back pain, including disc issues
  • Previous fractures
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Certain mental/anxiety disorders

Tennessee law has been clear that you take the Plaintiff as they are at the time of the accident, whether pre-existing injuries are present is of no consequence. A victim of third-party negligence can recover damages even when there is a pre-existing injury, so long as medical proof showing the injury was worsened from said accident.

Medical proof and testimony are the most important aspect of any case attempting to link additional accident related damage to a pre-existing injury. We advise all clients to be open and honest with their attorney and medical provider regarding any pre-existing injuries or conditions. By having an open line of communication with your attorney, we can provide the proper legal and medical roadmap that will help to get you the recovery you deserve.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, don’t let an insurance company or adjuster lessen your claim by blaming a pre-existing injury. Insurance companies operating in Tennessee should be held responsible for all damages related to an accident caused by the negligence of their insured. The Chiozza Law Firm has a long history of assisting people in need of quality legal representation.  From the first time you come by our Downtown Memphis office or call 901-526-9494, you will meet or speak with one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys. You will get to know the actual attorney who will handle your claim from beginning to end. Your attorney will guide you each step of the way.  

We are happy to offer a free, no obligation, confidential case evaluation to discuss your legal options and rights regarding a pre-existing injury claim. If we cannot make a recovery on your behalf, you owe our firm nothing. We also believe our fair fee arrangement is one of the best options available for anyone seeking legal representation for an auto accident matter.

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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 1:54 PM
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