Will a Pre-Existing Injury Affect My Recovery?

If you are involved in a Manhattan car accident, you may suffer injuries due to the negligent driver’s actions. But what if you hurt a part of your body in the car crash that you previously injured? Does that bar you from recovering compensation in this accident? The short answer is no.

Will the Exacerbation or Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Injury Reduce Your Recovery?

Well, it depends.

First of all, from an ethical standpoint alone, you should disclose the fact that you injured the same part of your body before that you hurt in this accident. And from a practical standpoint, you may as well disclose it anyway because the insurance company will do their homework, and run an ISO search which will bring to light your prior litigation, accident and injury history. Further, they will have their lawyers demand that you allow them access to your prior medical history which will reveal any pre-existing injuries you may have had.

New York Law

There is an age-old adage in New York that an individual who injures another in a Manhattan car accident “takes the Plaintiff how he finds her,” meaning that your prior injury just made you that much more vulnerable to the new injury inflicted. Lawyers often refer to this as the “Eggshell Plaintiff” doctrine. But don’t be concerned. Even if this accident caused an exacerbation of a pre-existing injury, you may still be able to recover.

What You Need to Tell Your Manhattan Car Accident Lawyer

Tell your attorney everything about the prior accident or prior injury. Your attorney can retrieve the old medical records, such as prior MRI reports, CAT scans, EMG test results, and operative reports. These are objective tests and findings that may aid your lawyer in obtaining proper compensation for you in this new case.

How do your new injuries differ from your prior injuries?

What Factors Affect My Case Where There Was a Pre-Existing Injury

Some of the more common issues are:

  • If your prior injury was the result of a car accident, how long ago was that prior accident?
  • What treatment did you receive for your prior injury and how long did you get treatment for that injury?
  • Did you have a CAT scan or MRI performed for the prior injury?
  • Had surgery ever been recommended in the past?
  • What doctors did you treat with for the prior accident?
  • What was your recovery like from the previous accident?
  • Concerning the prior accident where you hurt the same body part as in this accident, did you lose time from work; and how much time?

Contact a Manhattan car accident lawyer if you sustain injuries as the result of an auto or taxi accident, even if you sustained injuries that exacerbated pre-existing injuries. We can be reached at 212-518-2095.