Can Recover Compensation After an Accident If I Have a Preexisting Injury?
Absolutely. Having a previous injury on your record does not negate the fact that you have been injured because of another party's reckless behavior or negligence. But if you have been injured before, you can face challenges with your workplace injury claim that others do not. Specifically, you need to prove that your injury was caused solely due to your recent accident and that it is not merely an aggravation of your previous injury.How a Preexisting Injury Can Hurt your Claim
If you have been injured and received compensation before, insurance providers might be wary about compensating you for a new injury. They may suspect that you are using your new injury as an opportunity to make “easy money” or that your injury is not new at all, but you had been suffering from it since your initial accident.
No matter how your previous injury contributed to your current needs, you need to fully disclose your medical history to your doctor, your lawyer, and the insurance provider. Attempting to hide a preexisting injury can only backfire and potentially have a negative impact on your claim.Proving That Injuries are Related to Your Recent Accident
Even if your injury is worse than it potentially could have been because of your previous injury, you can still recover an appropriate amount of compensation to treat it. In order to do this, you need to prove that the damages you are seeking compensation to cover were directly caused by your recent accident. This is where your doctor's testimony plays a key role. For example, if you suffered a fall in the past and injured your shoulder, then suffered another shoulder injury in a forklift accident and experienced severe pain and the need for medical treatment after this injury, your doctor can discuss how your previous injury permanently weakened your shoulder, causing you to need a greater amount of medical care than you would have if you had not previously been injured. Your doctor is not passing the blame for your new injury onto your old one in this case, but discussing the role it played in contributing to your current medical need after your recent accident.
Other pieces of evidence that you can use to prove your claim's validity are the same that you would use to prove any other injury claim: witness testimonies, photographs of your injury and the accident scene, and documentation from your employer showing that you have taken time off from work to focus on your recovery.Work With a San Jose Workplace Injury Attorney
If you have suffered an injury in the past and are concerned about how it can affect your ability to recover compensation for a more recent injury, speak with an experienced San Jose workplace accident lawyer. Contact our team at Corsiglia, McMahon, & Allard, L.L.P. to get started on your claim with a member of our San Jose firm. Our team proudly serves clients throughout the Bay Area, San Mateo County, Alameda County, San Benito County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County.Source