Quite often, we are faced with the situation that a client injured a body part that had been hurt before. Typically, these are people who have back injuries or other physical injuries that occurred in the past that are reinjured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent act.
Insurance companies and people who defend lawsuits take the position that the prior injury is a reason why a claim is less valuable. This is simply not true. To the extent that an injury is made worse as a result of the negligent acts of another person, the victim is entitled to recover to the extent that the prior injury is aggravated or made worse. Bottom line: if someone is liable, they do not get a discount just because you had a preexisting injury. If you were injured before and worked hard to get better, then you should be admired for your desire to get better, not penalized because you were hurt before.
Some of the best results our firm has obtained over the years have been for people who aggravated pre-existing conditions as a result of a defendant’s negligence. My very first multi-million dollar jury verdict was on behalf of a man who injured his back in a car accident. He had been in another car accident years before that and also injured his back. He clearly aggravated his back injury in the second accident however the defense attorney and the insurance company who were responsible for evaluating the case did not offer a fair settlement based on the defense that my client had a prior injury. The JURY THOUGHT DIFFERENTLY!
We also had a client who injured his back on a construction site. He received a six figure settlement as a result of this accident. He rehabilitated himself and through hard work with his doctors he got himself back to work. While on a construction site he was injured again. He received a multi million dollar settlement because he aggravated his preexisting injury in that second accident.
In my view, when people were hurt before, their cases are often worth more money because the prior injury or condition makes them more susceptible to a more significant injury the second time around.
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we fight hard for those with aggravated prior injuries. We do not give negligent parties or insurance companies discounts if you were hurt before. If you had a prior injury, never believe that you are entitled to anything less than full and fair recovery for your injuries. We take pride in hiring the proper medical experts who can explain why a person with a pre-existing injury is more susceptible to injury and who can differentiate between the individual’s pre-accident status and how they were made worse as a result of trauma. This entitles our clients to full recovery.
For a free consultation on all personal injury matters, call Hach & Rose, LLP, at (212) 779-0057