What to Do If Your Pre-Existing Back Injury Was Aggravated in an Indiana Car Crash

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on January 24, 2020

. Updated on April 18, 2022


injured patient with doctorIf you are involved in a car accident that worsens a pre-existing back injury, you may wonder if you are eligible to pursue compensation for your new pain and suffering. A pre-existing injury complicates a personal injury case, and it is challenging to prove the accident made it worse. While trying to conceal an old injury is a bad idea, how you disclose it can be very important to the outcome of your claim.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak’s South Bend car accident attorneys discuss handling a pre-existing back injury after an automobile accident. Request a free, no-obligation consultation with our team today and learn about your potential legal options.

Why and When You Should Disclose Your Pre-Existing Injury

It is best to be up-front and disclose pre-existing injuries at the start of a claim, but we strongly recommend that you do not do it on your own. Hiring an attorney to fully manage communications with the insurance company, including disclosure of pre-existing injuries, may help ensure you do not accidentally include unnecessary information that may be damaging to your claim.

Additional steps to avoid:

  • Do not provide a recorded statement to the insurance company – Anything you say during this conversation can and will be used against you to devalue your claim. If your insurance company requires a statement, your attorney can advise you about what needs to be included and what you may leave out.
  • Do not sign any authorization to release your medical records – The adjuster will only search to try and find something that can be used to discredit you or damage the value of your claim.

Providing Evidence Your Back Injury Was Made Worse

The burden of proof is on you to provide evidence that the accident caused further damage to your previously injured back. This evidence could include medical documentation about your prior condition, along with your current physician’s medical notes describing your new symptoms and how the accident made your injury worse. You can personally obtain medical records of this without giving the adjuster full access to all your medical records.

Additional records to include from your medical treatments may include:

  • Diagnostic testing at the time you were injured
  • Notes from your initial examination following the accident

This supporting evidence can be helpful in proving that the accident made your pre-existing back injury worse.

Common Aggravations to Pre-Existing Back Injuries

When automobile accidents exacerbate a pre-existing back injury, common symptoms of new damage may include:

  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Fractured spine
  • Dislocated spine
  • Ligament or muscle injuries
  • Compressed spinal nerves

How an Attorney May Help Protect Your Claim

A legal concept called the “Eggshell Skull Rule” may apply when a victim sustains more serious injuries in an accident due to their pre-existing conditions.

Under this rule, the court or insurance company must take the victim as they are. Insurance adjusters and others cannot reduce the value of your claim simply because you were more likely to suffer severe injuries because of your pre-existing condition. It does not matter if your injuries would have been less severe if you did not have a pre-existing injury.

Reach Out to Our Lawyers Today

If you were injured in a car accident caused by another’s negligence and suffered new damage to a pre-existing back injury, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your damages.

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, our trusted attorneys help injured victims pursue maximum compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers. We will review the merits of your potential claim and answer your legal questions. If we represent you, you will not have to pay money upfront. You pay us nothing unless we recover compensation for you.

Call (844) 678-1800 or complete our Free Case Review form to set up your consultation.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases