Can You Sue For Pre-Existing Injuries in a FL Car Accident?


If you suffer injuries as the result of a Florida car accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim in order to get compensation for those injuries. If you have lost out on wages, face mounting medical bills, or lose your earning capacity because of those injuries, then you may be able to take the at-fault driver to court.


The question many people have is how pre-existing conditions can impact a personal injury lawsuit. After all, many of us are walking around with health conditions or injuries that can be made much worse by even a minor accident.


In those cases, are you still entitled to compensation for a pre-existing injury? Read on to find out what your options are.


Pre-Existing Conditions: What Are They?


Pre-existing conditions are medical circumstances present in a person before they are involved in an accident. They can be made worse by the accident in question.


Examples include:


  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Broken bones
  • Fibromyalgia

This is not an exhaustive list but merely examples of conditions that may exist before you are involved in an accident. It’s vital to disclose any pre-existing conditions you have to your attorney and ensure that your medical records match what you say.


How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Personal Injury Claims in FL?


How a pre-existing condition impacts a personal injury claim varies. Sometimes it can help you to recover more compensation, while in other cases it could mean you get less. What it comes down to is how your injuries impact your life.


If you were involved in an accident that aggravates a condition from which you’re already suffering, then it’s possible to receive more compensation than someone who was healthy before the accident.


However, pre-existing conditions do impact how the court views your medical improvement after the accident. If you were not functioning up to 100 percent capacity before the incident, then that will not be the standard the court uses to determine what compensation you may be able to recover.


To say pre-existing conditions involved in Florida car accidents are complex is an understatement. Luckily, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you figure out what is possible in your particular case.


What Damages are Possible to Recover for an Aggravated Pre-Existing Condition?


If you are involved in a Florida car accident and have a pre-existing condition made worse by that accident, it’s vital to disclose the condition as soon as you can. The insurance company cannot hold you responsible for previous injuries or the accidents that caused them.


When you are in an accident that makes a condition worse, you can pursue non-economic as well as economic damages through a personal injury claim. These damages include:


  • Lost earning
  • Pain and suffering (both physical and emotional)
  • Medical expenses
  • Physical scarring and disfigurement

What Damages are Possible to Recover for an Aggravated Pre-Existing Condition?


The fact that you were simply more susceptible to injury doesn’t mean you should receive less in damages than any other person.


The key is to be very honest about any pre-existing conditions you have – or your claim can be denied. The burden to prove your injuries will be placed on you, which can make the case tougher going forward.


If you have a pre-existing condition that is now worse as the result of a Florida car accident, don’t be shy to pursue damages to which you may be entitled. After all, you deserve the same compensation as any other person, injured previously or not.


About the Author:

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.