News & Info

What if my injury is a pre-existing condition?

If you’ve been involved in an accident that worsened a pre-existing injury or condition, you're not alone. Many people find themselves in this situation, wondering about their rights and legal options.

Solicitor Elaine Hickey explains: “A common misunderstanding is that a pre-existing injury can’t be considered as part of a personal injury claim or that a case will be worth less because the injury is pre-existing. But the fact is, if an incident that was not your fault has aggravated a pre-existing injury or condition, you are entitled to take legal action for the aggravation of this injury.”

What counts as ‘aggravation of a pre-existing injury or condition’?

If you’ve suffered additional harm to a body part that was already injured or impaired before the accident, or if a condition has worsened as a result of an accident, this is aggravation of a pre-existing injury or condition. This can include back pain, neck injuries, arthritis, or conditions related to previous surgeries.

For example, if you have a back injury from a prior car accident, and then have a fall at work, this could make your back injury worse. This could result in additional medical treatment, pain or expenses.

Even if you have a pre-existing condition, the party responsible for the accident still owes you a duty of care. They could be liable for any additional harm caused by their negligence, regardless of your prior injuries.

Open and honest communication

It’s important to be completely honest and upfront about your medical history when making a personal injury claim. Failure to do so may result in your case being unsuccessful in court due to a lack of transparency on your behalf.

“When your solicitor asks if you have any previous injuries or health conditions, always make sure you disclose everything, even if you believe it’s not important or relevant,” says Elaine.

“During the legal process, if your medical records reveal any previous injuries or conditions that you haven’t disclosed, this could have a negative impact on your case or could even result in your claim being dismissed altogether.”

Keep open and honest communication with your solicitor throughout the claims process and update them on your medical progress. This will allow your personal injury solicitor to take the appropriate measures to protect your claim and get the best possible outcome for your case.