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Can Pre-existing Injuries Affect a California Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury cases are filed to compensate the victim for injuries sustained due to the negligence of
another. However, pre-existing injuries could negatively affect a case resulting in reduced compensation
awarded to the victim.

The defending team generally pounce on the pre-existing medical issues for rejected a personal injury
claim case. You need to understand how an existing condition could affect a personal injury case before
filing one to get compensation for the losses.

Pre-existing Injuries in California Personal Injury Cases

A pre-existing injury refers to a physical problem that existed before the accident. Suppose that you
have been injured in a truck accident, and hurt your leg. An injury to the same area that occurred a
couple of years ago would be considered a pre-existing injury.

Some of the pre-existing medical injuries that affect a personal injury case in the event of an auto
accident include the following.

  • Head, Back or Neck injuries
  • Heart issues
  • Previous surgeries
  • Respiratory problems
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disease
  • Arthritis or osteoporosis

The key to getting compensation in the event of a pre-existing injury is to prove the following two points
in the court.

  • The pre-existing medical condition was aggravated or made worse after the accident
  • The medical issue did not hamper daily activities previously

According to the Eggshell Plaintiff Rule, a guilty person cannot avoid liability since the victim was
susceptible to injury. For instance, an elderly person gets seriously injured after being struck by a truck.
The same impact could have only caused a slight injury to a young individual. However, just because the
elderly person was frail does absolve liability of the guilty person.

In case the previous injury was not related to the present injury, your personal lawyer could not even
allow it to be presented as evidence in favor of the defendant. An experienced attorney will quickly
discover the connection and raise an objection in the court to dismiss the evidence.


Insurance companies will literally leave no stone unturned to get away from the liability of
compensating the victim. One of the strategies that they commonly use is highlighting pre-existing
issues to absolve from the liability of paying to the victim.

You need to contact an experienced personal injury firm with years of experience in fighting similar
cases. An experienced personal injury team will know what steps to take to maximize the compensation
amount. You can rest assured that your rights will be protected when you contact an experienced
attorney to fight a case for you.