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Aug 28

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Pre-Exisiting Conditions and Prior Injuries Can Impact the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim.

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One thing that always makes claims in personal injury lawsuits more difficult is when a person has a pre-existing injury.   If you had a prior injury or documented medical care for the same area of your body, the lawyer for the bad guy will likely assert that your condition was not caused by the auto wreck or other personal injury accident.  Rather, they will claim, your current problems are all related to the prior documented issues.

Such complexities do not eliminate your right to recover damages to the extent that the accident exacerbated a pre-existing condition (or merely caused a new injury to the same body part).  Dealing with these issues usually requires focused medical testimony from your doctors. What must be shown in evidence is medical documentation showing an actual change in your condition from the prior problems.  Without that, obtaining full and fair compensation for your injury in Idaho is difficult.

A positive thing is that Idaho law on personal injury damages requires the bad guy to bring forth proof on which a jury can base a decision to apportion damages from an injury between a prior condition and the injury caused by the negligent act.   If the jury cannot apportion the damages, than you have a right to recover for all damages shown by the proof.  Idaho’s law is set out in Idaho Model Jury Instruction 9.02. It instructs the jury that

A person who has a pre-existing condition or disability is entitled to recover damages for the aggravation of such preexisting condition, if any, that is proximately caused by the occurrence.  The person is not entitled to recover damages for the pre-existing condition or disability itself.

If you find that before the occurrence causing the injuries in this case the plaintiff had a preexisting bodily condition or disability, and further find that because of the new occurrence in this case the pre-existing condition or disability was aggravated, then you should consider the aggravation of the condition or disability in fixing the damages in this case.  You should not consider any condition or disability that existed prior to the occurrence, or any aggravation of such condition that was not caused or contributed to by reason of this occurrence.

You are to apportion, if possible, between the condition or disability prior to this occurrence and the condition or disability caused by this occurrence, and assess liability accordingly.  If no apportionment can reasonably be made by you, then the defendant is liable for the entire damage.

Whether a prior neck or back injury, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or previous complaints about any part of your body, this law makes sure that the non-negligent injured person does not pay a price for the negligent person’s actions.  This can help  make sure you receive fair compensation whether in settlement or if you need to try a lawsuit.

We can help you with your injury claims in Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, Filer, Payette, Caldwell, Mountain Home, Eagle, Gooding, Kuna or anywhere in Idaho.  Call us a (208) 386-9119 or send us an email at help@idahoinjurylaw.net we are happy to answer questions regarding your injury claim.

Permanent link to this article: http://holzeredwardsinjurylawyers.com/2012/08/pre-exisiting-conditions-and-prior-injuries-can-impact-the-value-of-your-personal-injury-claim/

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