I suffered from neck pain prior to getting in an auto accident. Will my pre-existing pain make a difference?

Neck Previous Pain Injury Law

I suffered from neck pain prior to getting in an auto accident. Will my pre-existing pain make a difference?

It might. Generally, a person who is negligent or careless is responsible only for the harm he or she caused. That means that you have to prove there was negligence and that the negligence caused your current neck injury, or part of it.

However, if you can prove that the accident made the injury worse, you can collect for the degree to which the condition has been made worse. Additionally, if you had a previous neck injury and are more susceptible to injury and the new accident causes the pain to return or aggravates the old injury, then you can recover for your injuries as though this were a brand new set of injuries. This is known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule, which basically means that even if the victim (you) is unusually susceptible to injury, whoever is responsible for the accident is responsible for the damages, no matter how great or unforeseeable the damages may be. For example, if you had a previous neck injury and you’re free of pain, but another slight bump could permanently disable you, if someone negligently crashes into you, that person will be liable for your full damages, even though they had no way of knowing your condition was so fragile.

You should work with your attorney and medical providers to make sure everyone has as clear an understanding as possible of the portion of your neck pain that the accident caused. That way, you have the best chance of getting paid for the full value of any new or aggravating injuries. You can also have a free case assessment by completing our case evaluation form.

Read more for related video clips.