Non-Subscriber Case FAQ: What if I have prior injuries?

By Michael GrossmanJanuary 18, 2015Reading Time: 2 minutes
Many of us have been injured or have some health condition. Maybe you were hurt playing sports in high school, or have had diabetes for most of your life. Oftentimes, clients who've been hurt in workplace accidents are concerned that their employer will claim that, because their complaints are the result of a pre-existing condition, they shouldn't be held responsible for whatever happened to the client. To be fair, this is a murky area. We'll explain below how past injuries can actually impact your claim. In addition, we encourage you to check out our Comprehensive Guide to Non-Subscriber Work Injury Law to get educated on how courts generally treat these claims.

Employers' lawyers often try to undercut victims' cases by claiming their injuries already existed.

In any personal injury case, courts will demand evidence that the accident actually caused the injuries you're claiming you deserve compensation for. This is, of course, entirely reasonable. Think about it this way: if you lost your arm in a car accident years before your work injury, it's wildly unfair to try to get your employer to pay for the resulting medical bills just because you had a separate accident while working for them. Sometimes, connecting the accident to your injury is relatively straightforward. If a coworker negligently swung a saw your way and cut off your finger, that's pretty obvious. However, if you had a preexisting injury in your back and are now claiming that a slip-and-fall accident made it worse, things become a bit more complicated. But let's keep two phenomena separate: 1. Actual preexisting injuries: To the extent that your health or physical condition wasn't perfect prior to the accident, your lawyer will need to find a way to deal with that as he litigates your case. That's why it's extremely important that you're honest with us about your background. If you've got an injury in your past, that information will come out as your case proceeds whether you tell us or not. So, it's best that you be upfront with your attorney so he can start mitigating the situation. 2. Invented preexisting injuries: We've seen countless cases where defense attorneys magically find "injuries" our clients had in previous years. These don't come from unambiguous medical records, which attorneys might use to accurately point out that you'd had back surgery or a hip injury three years prior to the accident. Rather, they take your medical records, show them to a new doctor---whom they happen to be paying, by the way---who finds that the area you claim was injured in your work accident had been deteriorating for years.

How your attorney can still win your case.

In order to beat back the attempts of opposing counsel to undermine your case, it's vitally important for your attorney to be able to show exactly how the accident impacted you. Your attorney should only employ the best medical experts available, who can connect the dots between the accident and your current state of bad health. We've successfully litigated cases like this countless times, and that experience means we know just how to keep your claim from being derailed by supposed "pre-existing conditions." Remember, if you've been hurt, you need an attorney who can go the distance to get what you deserve. We've successfully beaten back defense lawyers countless times, and we're ready to do the same for you. Call us at 1-855-326-0000 today to learn how we can help you.