Should I tell my lawyer about prior accidents and injuries?
In this article David M. Chester, a Wooster car accident lawyer and founder of Chester Law Group Co., LPA, explains the importance of telling your attorney about all of your previous accidents and injuries.
Attorney Chester goes on to say, most people think that prior injuries hurt their motor vehicle accident claims. Many adjusters tell injured victims that they will not cover “pre-existing conditions. ” Therefore, some injured Ohioans decide to not tell their lawyer about a previous workers’ compensation claim, car accident, etc.
This is deadly for several reasons. First, many times having previous accidents years before an accident doesn’t really matter. For example, if you hurt your neck five years ago and were better in a week, it will not really affect your motor vehicle accident claim. However, if you forget to tell the adjuster this information or the defense lawyer in deposition, it will ruin your credibility and you will look like a liar because you denied an irrelevant thing from the past because you thought it was relevant. Trust your lawyer and let your lawyer do the lawyering.
Second, prior injuries can actually help your case if they were long ago and you have not suffered any symptoms for years. It shows that you are an “eggshell” and were more easily hurt by this accident because you were weakened by the prior accident. In fact you may be more likely to be hurt now even in a low impact collision because of your weakened condition.
For example, nobody would argue that a 90 year old lady with arthritis would not be hurt by a 5 mph accident when a healthy 25 year old would not. The law says that the party at fault takes the plaintiff where they find them. In other words, it does not matter that an average person would not be hurt; it only matters that you would be hurt.
So don’t throw away your personal injury claim because some auto insurance adjuster tells you that your injury is pre-existing, or that nobody could be hurt in this type of accident. Remember, they usually work for the person who hurt you. At Chester Law Group, we will deal with these questionable arguments made by some adjusters and focus on getting you the compensation you deserve.
Adjusters and defense lawyers like to cloud the issue. It is not really about pre-existing injuries at all. The real issue, under Ohio law, is that a wrongdoer must put the injured party back to where they were financially and health wise before the accident.
If you were not in pain right before the accident, and it took 2 years of therapy to get back to having no pain, what does it matter about an injury 10 years ago. It doesn’t. The defense just hopes the jury is not smart enough to pick up on this fact. When you remember what Ohio law says, the issue is easy to see. In fact the prior injury may explain why it took so long to get better.
The Mercy Guidelines, which give guidelines for treatment of certain injuries, provides that prior injuries, arthritis, diabetes, and many other factors are all reasons why treatment may take longer for sore necks than the usual recovery time. Don’t be fooled by the pre-existing red herring. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
View this Wooster motorcycle accident client testimonial to see how others feel about Chester Law.