Victims who are injured in accidents caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party are entitled under Virginia law to pursue damages against the liable party for both the economic and non-economic losses their injuries have caused them to suffer. But what happens if the victim already had a pre-existing condition or injury that is exacerbated by the accident?
A preexisting condition does not prevent a victim from filing a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident that injured them. It is important to realize, however, that these types of claims are usually more complex than claims without preexisting conditions. Working with a Virginia personal injury attorney can increase your chance of success in receiving the compensation you deserve instead of attempting to navigate through the confusing claim process on your own.
You Can Still Recover Financial Compensation for Losses
When there is a pre-existing injury or condition, any recovery is usually limited to the injuries/aggravation caused by the subject incident.
The severity of the pre-existing condition usually determines the effect it will have on recovery. If the victim has a pre-existing condition that didn’t have any symptoms, such as pre-existing arthritis that is seen on X-ray but didn’t cause any pain prior to the incident, and the trauma from the incident caused it to become painful, the pre-existing condition without symptoms may have very little impact on the injured party’s recovery since the symptoms are caused by the incident.
If the pre-existing condition had significant symptoms that slightly increased in some manner by the incident, the pre-existing condition in that situation may limit the injured party’s recovery.
The amount of aggravation of a pre-existing injury/condition is usually determined by a doctor who can usually provide a diagnosis of the pre-existing injury/condition and a description of how that injury/condition was affected by the incident that is the subject of the claim.
A physician who treated the injured party before and after an incident is usually able to provide a medical description of how the pre-existing injury/condition was affected by the incident that is the subject of the claim and a description of how the aggravation/new injury will affect the injured party’s daily functioning.
Let a Virginia Accident Attorney Advocate for You
Whether you were aware of and receiving treatment for your preexisting medical condition, or it was discovered after you were injured, your attorney will present the evidence needed to prove that the accident did indeed result in the worsening of your condition and how that has increased your medical expenses, financial losses, quality of life, and other losses you have suffered from this accident.
The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has more than three decades of experience helping victims obtain the financial compensation they deserve, including victims with pre-existing conditions. If you would like to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our Virginia personal injury attorneys, contact our office today.