Can Previous Injuries Affect My Accident Claim?

When you are injured in an accident, you might consider seeking compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. This compensation can cover your medical bills, your lost wages as a result of having to take a leave from work to recover, and other expenses related to the injury, such as the need for a mobility aid while you recover. To receive this compensation, you must prove to the insurance provider that:

  • Another party had a duty to act in a safe way or otherwise prevent injuries to others;
  • That party behaved negligently, breaching this duty;
  • The other party's negligence directly caused you to suffer specific injuries; and
  • The damages you are seeking compensation to cover are the direct result of this specific injury.

If you have suffered another injury previously, proving the last two bullet points can be more difficult. This is because the insurance provider might claim that your recent accident merely aggravated an existing injury, rather than causing you to become injured again, or it might reduce the amount of compensation you may receive by claiming that the extent of your injury was magnified by the previous one, resulting in greater damages than you would have experienced if a previous injury did not contribute to them. Proving that either of these claims is false can require substantial evidence and strong negotiation skills from an experienced personal injury lawyer.

How Can Insurance Companies Blame New Injuries on Older Injuries?

Ways an insurance provider might blame your current injury on an older one include:

  • Claiming you were already injured when the accident occurred;
  • Claiming the injury would not have occurred if you had not been previously injured; and
  • Claiming that you are not truly hurt, but using your injury as a way to seek a payout.

What if I Have Been Injured Multiple Times?

Having multiple accidents in your medical history can make it appear to an insurance provider that you are simply out to make quick money through your injury claim. If you have a history that includes many accidents, you need to work harder than other victims to prove that your claim is legitimate.

Although it might be tempting to hide or minimize a previous injury when filing an injury claim, do not do this. Attempting to disguise a previous injury can actually hurt your case because it makes you appear to not be credible. Instead, disclose your previous injuries fully. Not only does this demonstrate your honesty, it can aid in the investigation of your current claim by providing the information necessary to determine that your previous injury is unrelated to your current one.

That said, do not speak with the insurance provider until you have first discussed your insurance claim in Las Vegas with your attorney. Sometimes, seemingly innocent statements can discredit a claim. Find out how to discuss your case with the insurance provider in a way that will not discredit it.

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