Car Accidents And Pre-Existing Injuries – Claims Advice

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My Pre-Existing Injury Got Worse After A Car Accident, Can I Claim?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 26th January 2024. If you have been involved in a car accident and a pre-existing injury got worse, you may be wondering whether you can still claim compensation. The short answer is yes, you can still make a personal injury claim, and in this guide, we’ll explain the issues surrounding this.

Making a claim that involves a pre-existing condition can be more complicated than a standard personal injury claim. It can sometimes be difficult to prove that your injuries were worsened by an accident.

If you wish to make a personal injury claim following an accident in which your pre-existing condition got worse, Legal Expert can help you.

If we can see that you have a legitimate claim we can provide you with a skilled personal injury solicitor to handle your car accident claim.

To begin your claim, call us today on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, you can contact us in writing using the claims form on our website.

Injured driver receiving medical treatment from paramedic after car crash

My pre-existing injury got worse after a car accident

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Pre-Existing Injury Made Worse By A Car Accident?
  2. What Pre-Existing Injuries Could Be Made Worse?
  3. How To Prove That The Other Party Was At Fault
  4. A Car Accident Aggravated My Pre-Exisiting Condition – What Is My Settlement Worth?
  5. No Win No Fee Claims For Injuries Made Worse By A Car Accident
  6. Contact Our Claims Team
  7. Injury Claim Resources

What Is A Pre-Existing Injury Made Worse By A Car Accident?

Suffering a worsening of a pre-existing after a car accident essentially means that the person who was injured already had an injury or lived with a pre-existing medical condition. Being involved in a car accident worsened their injury or medical condition, increasing their pain and suffering.

In some instances, the worsening of the pre-existing injury or medical condition may have a long term impact on their lives.

There are two ways that a car accident can worsen a pre-existing condition. The first is the acceleration of a condition, which means that the effects of the condition are brought forward by the accident. The claimant may not have been aware they had the condition until they suffered the accident.

The second is the exacerbation or worsening of a pre-existing condition, which is when the pre-existing condition is made worse. For example, if you suffer from multiple sclerosis, arthritis or osteoporosis they can all be worsened by a car accident.

Understandably these sorts of injuries can be more difficult to prove. Your medical records from before and after the accident and other evidence will have to be assessed by a medical expert. A specialist solicitor will need to collect as much evidence as possible to support your compensation claim.

Obtaining medical evidence, in particular, can help determine whether you’ve suffered an acceleration or an exacerbation injury. This evidence can also be used to determine the extent of that damage too.

What Pre-Existing Injuries Could Be Made Worse?

We will now look at some pre-existing injuries or medical conditions which can be exacerbated or accelerated by a car accident.

  • Soft tissue injuries: Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck which is caused by the head being forced forward and back, overstretching the muscles. Suffering whiplash with a pre-existing condition can worsen medical conditions such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis, as well as any long-term back injuries.
  • Broken bones: If you have suffered from a broken or fractured bone that you have had treated and had started to heal, being involved in a car accident may cause the bone to rebreak or refracture. The bone will already be weaker if it is in the process of healing. In some instances, the break or fracture may be worse than the first time.
  • Back injuries: If a person has a pre-existing condition affecting their back such as degenerative disc disease or a prolapsed disc, a car accident can exacerbate their condition.
  • Brain injuries: If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury recently you are sadly more vulnerable to reinjury. If a person with a traumatic brain injury is involved in a road traffic accident, their condition may be exacerbated, or a new injury may develop.

If a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. Call Legal Expert today and if we believe you are owed compensation for the worsening of your injuries, we will provide you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to handle your compensation claim.

How To Prove That The Other Party Was At Fault

You will have to prove that the road traffic accident was caused by negligence on the part of the other driver or road user. To achieve this, it will be necessary to establish that the other driver owed you a duty of care (which all road users do under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code), that they breached that duty of care, and as a result, you suffered an injury.

Your solicitor may have to provide evidence that the other driver disobeyed the rules of the road, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or that they were looking at their phone whilst they were driving.

Your solicitor may use CCTV footage, police reports, witness statements and insurance company documents to prove that the accident was not your fault.

You can also collect evidence at the scene of the accident by photographing any damage to your vehicle, visible injuries, or hazards on the road.

You can also keep any receipts or medical records relating to your injuries which may be used as evidence to support your claim for a pre-existing injury that got worse after a car accident.

A Car Accident Aggravated My Pre-Exisiting Condition – What Is My Settlement Worth?

If a car accident aggravated your pre-existing condition, your settlement could be made up of two heads. These two heads cover different areas of your claim, and are calculated in different ways.

The first head that we will discuss is general damages. This head of your claim covers the physical and mental injuries that you sustain as a result of the vehicle collision, as well as the ways in which these injuries affect your life. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) help legal professionals value this head of claim, as it provides guideline settlement brackets for various types of injuries.

You can find some examples of the compensation amounts found in the 16th edition of the JCG in the table below, but please note that these are guidelines only and that the first entry and last two entries in this table have not been taken from the JCG.

Nature Of Your Injury Possible Settlement Notes
Multiple Serious Injuries With Special Damages Up to £500,000+ If you have valid grounds to claim for multiple serious injuries (that may be related to pre-existing issues) then you may receive a payout for all of these as well as any related special damages, such as loss of earnings.
Neck Injuries – Severe (i) In the region of
The most serious level of injury leading to incomplete paraplegia or which results exeriencing a permanent spastic quadriparesis. There may be extensive symptoms associated with this.
Neck Injuries – Severe (ii) £65,740 to
Those injuries such as serious fractures and breaks.
Neck Injuries – Severe (iii) £45,470 to
The injury may cause a dislocation or fracture as well as or cause severe soft tissue damage and injury. There could be a tendon rupture.
Neck Injuries – Moderate (i) £24,990 to
Soft tissue and wrenching injuries.
Back Injury – Severe (iii) £38,780 to £69,730 May cover injuries such as disc lesions, fractures of discs or soft tissue injuries that lead to chronic conditions.
Back Injury – Moderate (ii) £12,510 to £27,760 Disturbance of ligaments or a prolonged disruption of a pre-existing condition or an acceleration of a condition by a number of years.
One Or More Whiplash injuries With 1 Or More Psychological Injuries £4,345 Recovery is expected within 18-24 months.
One Or More Whiplash Injuries £4,215 Recovery is expected within 18-24 months.

The second head of claim that you could pursue is special damages. This allows you to claim back the financial losses you experience as a result of your injuries. For example, this could include the cost of:

  •   Lost earnings.
  •   Prescriptions and other medicines.
  •   Travel to and from appointments or work.
  •   Childcare.
  •   Help with housework.

In order to make a claim under this heading, you must be able to provide proof of your losses, such as with bank statements and receipts.

For more information on claiming compensation for a car accident that exacerbated a pre-existing condition, contact our team of helpful advisors today.

No Win No Fee Claims For Injuries Made Worse By A Car Accident

If you were in a car accident that was not your fault and a pre-existing injury got worse as a result, then you could contact our advisors to review your case. If they determine you have a strong claim, then they could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors who could support your claim. Our solicitors can support personal injury claims under a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When you claim under this type of agreement, you generally won’t have to pay your solicitor for their services before the claim begins or while it is being processed. You also won’t need to pay for their services if the claim fails.

If your claim succeeds, then your solicitor will take what’s called a success fee to cover their payment. This is a small, legally capped percentage of the compensation awarded to you.

If you have any questions about No Win No Fee car accident claims, then you can speak to our advisors for free today. You can contact them by:

Injury Claim Resources

Thank you for reading our guide to making a claim if you suffered an accident in which a pre-existing injury got worse. We’ve included some more guides that you may find useful below.

We also have some other guides on car accident claims that you may find useful:

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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