Whether due to a chronic condition, an active injury that is in the process of treatment or healing or some other factor, it is not uncommon for someone to be in less than optimal health before an accident even takes place. If you are wondering what happens when an accident aggravates an existing injury or condition, please read on, then contact one of our experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers to learn more about what happens if a preexisting condition is made worse by an accident in the Garden State.
How does an aggravation of a preexisting injury or condition affect your personal injury case in New Jersey?
Even in the simplest circumstances, it can greatly complicate your pursuit of compensation. It should go without saying that in New Jersey, defendants are not liable for injuries or conditions that existed prior to their negligence or intentional misconduct. However, if they make your preexisting condition worse, then they can be held financially liable. Given the complexity of the human body and the inherent difficulty in assessing fault, a preexisting condition can complicate the determination of liability and the calculation of damages.
How do you work around preexisting conditions in personal injury cases in New Jersey?
You will most likely have to show that your preexisting injury was of a certain type and severity before the accident and that now it is different in terms of nature or intensity. For example, your symptoms were easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers, but following the accident, you require prescription painkillers and weekly visits to applicable medical professionals just to be able to get out of bed in the morning.
Are preexisting injuries and conditions always a negative?
By no means. In fact, they can work to your benefit, especially if they have been well-documented and the subject of ongoing treatment. For example, if a defendant wants to blame your injuries on the natural degeneration of age, you could provide MRI images that show the condition of those injuries or conditions just a few weeks before the accident, proving the more extreme injuries or conditions have been brought on by the accident.
Also, the defendant must fully compensate a plaintiff for all injuries, even if a pre-existing condition makes the plaintiff more susceptible to an injury or makes any injury much worse, and even if the defendant could not have reasonably foreseen the severity or extent of the resulting injuries. For more information, please reach out to our firm to discuss how your preexisting conditions factor into your personal injury claim.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury, whether on the job, on the road, due to a medical professional’s negligence, or otherwise, our firm is here. Rubenstein, Berliner & Shinrod, LLC has helped countless victims of negligence over the years, and we are ready to do the same for you. Contact our firm today so we can get started.