Insurance companies try to use the excuse of a pre-existing injury to avoid responsibility for providing compensation to injured people. The companies’ goal is to paint the injury claimant as a liar or exaggerator. In reality, it is not just rare but neigh on impossible, and of course improper, for a person to assert a claim for an injury which pre-existed the injury accident. There are prior medical records documenting the existence of the injury and often witnesses who know of the prior injury. No reputable injury attorney would ever countenance asserting a false claim. BUT, that does not mean a that a prior injury cannot play a role in your injury case.
Impacts of a Pre-Existing Injury On Your Claim
For example, if you have had a history of neck problems ora bad back and then get in a collision where you suffer a new injurythings can get difficult. What happens is the new incident makes your prior condition worse, or increases symptoms over what you previously experienced. Just because you had the prior problem does not mean that you have no valid claim to compensation. Idaho law, through model Jury instruction called IDJI2d 9.02, instructs a jury that
In other words, people who had a pre-existing problem can recover for the additional problems caused. And the person who injured you is obligated to prove what portion of the injury they are not responsible for or they have to compensate you for all your problems.
Not surprisingly, this creates substantial conflict in litigation and in these situations contacting a good personal injury lawyer about the best way to pursue your claim for personal injury is extremely important.
Insurance Companies Try to Deny Responsibility
Insurance companies will basically say and do anything, and hire anyone, to escape their contracted responsibility to pay for the damages caused by the negligence of their insureds. Blaming your problems on a prior injury is one of the tactics they use. IN reality, however, the insured is still responsible for the damages that person caused. That does not change just because the injured person had a prior problem.
Avoiding this and other tricks played by insurance companies and their adjusters is best accomplished by being completely honest with your own lawyer. For example, report your entire medical history. Help your lawyer preventing the carrier from distorting the truth and hurting you again