Common Personal Injury Case Weaknesses: Pre-Existing Conditions
It is important to understand the value of your personal injury case. New Jersey accident attorneys suggest it is wise to evaluate whatever weaknesses in your case may exist. Weaknesses will potentially lower the dollar amount of either the offer you are presented with or the settlement you actually receive and may be a factor in your decision whether or not to move forward with the lawsuit.
The Basic Strategy
Any weakness in your case is best handled by your New Jersey accident attorneys by one of the following:
- Eliminate the problem
- Lessen the problem’s potential effect at trial or
- Recognize that the problem may have a substantial impact on the case.
One of the most significant weaknesses in a personal injury case is a prior injury to the same area of your body that has been injured in the present accident.
Factors to Consider with Pre-Existing Injuries to the Same Body Part
Initially, consider as an example someone who sustained a back injury in an automobile accident two years ago, treated with doctors and physical therapists and settled with the insurance carrier of the party responsible for the accident. Presently, that person is involved in another automobile accident and once again sustains a back injury. A question thus arises whether the prior injuries had fully healed or not and whether the new injuries are fully attributable to the present accident or was there some pre-existing condition from the prior accident.
The Typical Insurance Carrier’s Approach
New Jersey accident attorneys will explain that an insurance carrier will likely argue that your current injury is merely a flare up of the old injury and is unconnected to the present accident. What it is trying to do is give you a “lowball” offer for your present medical bills. Continuing the example, say the second accident resulted in the victim sustaining a herniated disc and realistically expects a $100,000 recovery. The offer is $20,000 because the insurance company will state that the pre-existing injury minimized the value of the claimant’s subsequent injuries. As the claimant, the burden of proof is on you. This can be extremely difficult in such situations.
If you have been injured in an accident where a pre-existing condition is a factor, you need the assistance of the Clark Law Firm, New Jersey accident attorneys. A free, no obligation consultation is provided to help you understand your rights. Call 877-841-8855 today.