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Can You Seek Compensation for Aggravation of an Existing Injury?

doctor stretching patient's shoulderOld injuries can be aggravated by new injuries or by a physically traumatic event such as a car crash. If you can provide evidence of worsening symptoms and show how this is different from what you were dealing with before the accident, you may be able to obtain compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.

While this may be possible, these claims are challenging. Trying to pursue a claim on your own may be a bad idea as the legal process, particularly for a claim like this, is complicated. You can hire an attorney to represent you.

At Schmidt Kramer, we understand crash victims often have many questions. They may be unsure if they even have a case. At times like these, you need help you can trust.

For over three decades, the licensed Harrisburg personal injury attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have been helping crash victims secure compensation. Past clients have praised their attorneys for attention to detail and their guidance during a difficult time.

Contact Schmidt Kramer. We are prepared to help. (717) 727-2089

Proving Differences Between Old and New Symptoms

Your attorney will likely need to establish any symptoms you experienced before the accident as well as the symptoms you had after the accident. For example, if your pain is worse and more frequent, your attorney would need to provide proof you were experiencing less pain before the accident.

Validating your increased pain could be one of the biggest challenges of a claim for aggravation of a preexisting injury. However, if you are experiencing entirely new symptoms, your lawyer would just need to provide proof you did not report these symptoms before.

The Role of Medical Records

Your medical records are one of the most important pieces of evidence in any personal injury claim. Your lawyer can help you determine the records you will need and ensure you do not provide more than is necessary. The insurance company wants as much information as they can get to find some reason to deny your claim or at least underpay it.

Medical records such as MRIs and X-rays from before and after the accident can be vital pieces of evidence. Doctor’s notes about the symptoms you report, and their severity, can also be crucial to your attorney’s ability to validate your claim.

Sometimes the volume of medical records related to an existing injury can be an indicator that the injury got worse after the accident. For example, if you only saw the doctor a few times before the accident but now need frequent treatment, this indicates the injury is much more severe than it once was.

The same conclusion could be reached if the type of care you were getting before the accident was more passive, but you now need surgery and regular physical therapy.

It is important to note it may be more difficult to validate your claim if you were receiving extensive treatment before the accident. Your lawyer and doctors may have a much more difficult time differentiating between past symptoms and new or worsening symptoms.

Make sure to be detailed when describing your symptoms to your doctor. This will help him or her to determine how your symptoms worsened. Doctors are focused on providing treatment, so they may not be that focused on how your condition has worsened.

Employment Records

If you rarely missed work because of an existing injury, but regularly miss work or miss work more frequently than you used to, proof of missed time at work could help you validate your claim.

Testimony From People You Hired to Assist You

Sometimes an existing injury is so severely aggravated in an accident the victim must hire help. For example, the victim may need to hire help for household chores. These people may be able to provide testimony to explain the severity of the victim’s injuries.

Testimony from Family, Friends and Coworkers

These people could speak to changes in your activity level from before the accident. For example, maybe you have stopped taking part in activities you once enjoyed, like exercise, bicycle riding, fishing or other hobbies. Their testimony would be especially relevant if you told them that you were not taking part in these activities because of your injury.

Challenges of Cases Involving Aggravation of Existing Injuries

While insurance companies regularly challenge the validity of many injury claims, they may be more likely to fight even harder over a claim involving aggravation of an existing injury. In fact, you may need to file a lawsuit to secure full compensation.

That is why you need an experienced attorney who is prepared to go to court. Your attorney also needs to have the resources and legal knowledge to build a case.

At Schmidt Kramer, we have taken numerous cases to court, as our goal is securing maximum compensation for your damages.

Schmidt Kramer is Here to Help Injury Victims. Call Today

We know this is a difficult time for you and your family and we are here to help. For more than three decades, we have been assisting crash victims with the legal process, recovering millions in compensation.

Give us a call today. We do not charge upfront fees for our services, which means no fees to take your case and no fees while working on your case.

Need legal assistance? We are here to help. Call (717) 727-2089.