Often times longshore accident lawyer comes across cases where the person making the claim had a pre-existing injury and was denied for making a new claim. Now it is true that a pre-existing injury may make a claim more difficult to win, it is certainly not the case-killer that the opposing party will have you believe. In fact, there are some cases where the opposing party, such as the employer’s insurance company, will try to frighten a claimant with talk of pre-existing injuries with the hopes the injured person will drop the claim or accept a low-ball payment offer.
Did Your Pre-Existing Injury Affect The Injury?
It sounds obvious, but if your pre-existing injury is a broken foot, and you burned your hands on a steam press, then how can anybody claim your pre-existing injury was the problem? Perhaps if you had broken your foot previously, and then you caused a truck crash because you couldn’t use the brakes, then perhaps your pre-existing injury was the problem. Otherwise, you and your Longshore accident lawyer need to clarify what effect your pre-existing injury actually had on the accident/injury at all.
Mixed Signals and Problematic Injuries
Probably one of the most problematic pre-existing injuries is a back injury. Back injuries are already tricky because they are easy to fake, they have varying levels of severity, they are very difficult to treat, and their effect on a person’s overall health tends to differ between different people.
If your job is lifting boxes, and you drop a box, then your pre-existing back injury is going to be called into question. There are some injuries such as back injuries where it is difficult to fight a claim because so many elements are vague or hard to tie down.
Declared or Undeclared Injuries
There are two ways to look at this. For example, perhaps you didn’t declare a pre-existing injury to your employer, perhaps because you never sought medical attention for it, and then one day you injure yourself at work and want to make a claim. In that case, your pre-existing injury will not damage your case, and may even help make you look more injured than you actually are. However, if you were caught with a pre-existing injury that you didn’t declare to your employer, then you may lose your claim completely.
On the other hand, if you have a pre-existing injury, and you tell your employer, and then you have an accident and get injured, you are probably still due a fair claim payment. If your employer already knows about your pre-existing injury and still puts you in a position where your pre-existing injury may cause problems, then you can often claim and win.
Final Thoughts – Pre-Existing Injuries Make Things More Difficult
As you have learned from this article, just because you have a pre-existing injury, it doesn’t mean that your lawyer will lose your case for claim payment. However, there are some occasions where a pre-existing injury makes the case trickier. If you are worried about how your pre-existing injury may affect your compensation claim, then get in touch with Belal Hamideh Law and get some honest advice on what you should do next.