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What if I Have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition and Someone Injures Me? Am I Entitled to Compensation?

woman grabbing her neck after being rear-ended

One concern our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys often receive from clients who may have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence but may have had pre-existing medical conditions that were exacerbated by the incident rather than “new” injuries caused by that person’s negligence is their ability to recover for those injuries vs. someone who may have suffered a “new” injury as a result of another person’s negligence in Virginia. By way of example, if a Virginia motorist is rear-ended by someone operating his or her motor vehicle negligently and suffers a fractured vertebrae in his or her lower back as a result of that incident, then it seems clear that the person should be able to recover damages associated with that broken vertebrae, including the costs of any medical treatment the person may need for the broken vertebrae and any pain and suffering he or she may experience as a result of that injury.

However, where the scenario can become a bit more difficult and less clear-cut is if the person who was rear-ended had a prior medical history of lower back pain. Suddenly, the scenario is not as clear because the defense lawyer and the insurer for the driver that caused the accident are likely to argue that, rather than being a result of the accident, the lower back injuries and the pain the injured person is experiencing were instead a result of his or her prior injuries. Thankfully for those injured by someone else’s negligence in Virginia, a person who injures you is responsible for the consequences of his or her actions, whether that was to exacerbate a medical condition you already had or to cause an injury or pain you never had before the accident.

This is one reason it is particularly important to have an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney in your corner if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney like the attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman will be able to break down for the jury exactly what your injuries were as a result of the negligent person’s actions. If the injuries you suffered were exacerbations of pre-existing medical conditions, then it is particularly important that you have an attorney that knows how to explain to the jury how your injuries were a result of the incident rather than a result of your prior medical condition.

What Damages and Injuries Is a Tortfeasor Responsible for To the Victims of His or Her Negligence under Virginia Law?

The tortfeasor (the negligent person or party who caused your injuries) is responsible under Virginia law for all the harm they cause, both physical injuries as well as property damage. If the person totals your car and it is declared a total loss and was worth $5,000 whereas a newer vehicle could have been fixed for $500, the tortfeasor is liable to you for the entire $5,000. Similarly, if you have pre-existing medical conditions and someone injured you, making those pre-existing conditions much worse as a result of his or her negligence, then that person buys all the consequences of his or her negligence.

If you had a prior lower back injury or medical condition and did not need surgery prior to being involved in a motor vehicle accident but, that pre-existing condition combined with the additional injuries you suffered in the car accident, caused a need for you to have a spinal fusion surgery in your lower back, then the other driver and his or her insurer are responsible for the cost of that surgery. The defense attorney can argue that the jury should discount the amount that it awards you for pain and suffering due to your pre-existing back injury, but the tortfeasor and his or her insurance company would still be on the hook for all property damage or injuries that driver caused.

Therefore, if a negligent motorist injured you, you are entitled to be fully compensated for whatever injuries you suffered as well as whatever property damage that you incurred as a result of that person’s negligence. This is true regardless of what car you drove, what medical conditions you have prior to the incident or anything else.

Contact the Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman if You or Someone You Love Has Been Injured in Virginia

At Kalfus & Nachman, our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys have recovered millions in compensation for our clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. We have experience demonstrating to juries in clear and simple terms and with the assistance of trusted medical expert witnesses how our clients’ injuries are directly related to an accident even if our client has serious pre-existing medical conditions that may appear to overlap with the injuries our clients may have suffered due to someone else’s negligence in an accident. We also have a stable of talented and reliable medical experts that can help us break this down into simple terms and concepts a Virginia jury will understand. Therefore, if you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, then please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone today at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation regarding your particular situation.

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