Having a pre-existing injury is not fatal to an injury claim, but it must be handled properly. You will need clear medical opinion on the issue of apportionment between the two causes of your symptoms, and opinion on what the subject collision caused on a more probable than not basis.
Be prepared for the fact that neither the other driver's insurer, nor your own, will be motivated to settle your claims short of litigation. They will argue that your pre-existing symptoms were not worsened by the crash, or at least not as much as you are claiming.
Since you are represented, you should really be discussing any concerns you have with him. Talk with him soon.
Impossible for us to properly evaluate your case without thoroughly investigating it but your attorney certainly can and has offered his/her advice with regard to value.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Trust your attorney. He is in the best position to evaluate your claim and the involvement of this new accident on your pre-existing condition. He may want to contact the doctor to help determine the extent of aggravation of the injury. Many doctors will compare your pre-accident pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 to your post-accident pain level on the same scale. Also post-accident diagnostics may help the doctor differentiate the pre-accident condition from the post-accident condition. Depending on the findings of your doctor and the amount of policy limits available, you may be able to get policy limits.
The AVVO response or other communication by Caruso Law Offices does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please call us at 505-883-5000 for a FREE CONSULTATION with an attorney. We look forward to discussing your case in more detail.
I agree with the other lawyers. But there is more for you to know, so here are some issues to discuss with your lawyer: policy limits - how much? Are you limited by the other drivers policy? Was he working at the time he hit you? If so, his employer may be responsible too. That could bring more insurance to the table. Was there an "umbrella" policy? That could bring more to the table. Was the car he was driving owned by someone else? Also, in Washington State there are a series of cases following the Thiringer case which could limit or minimize whether your insurance gets reimbursed out of your settlements. Was your original injury a work-related claim? If so you might be able to re-open your workers' comp case for objective worsening of the condition. Give your attorney all the information you have so he/she can help you. . . Help him/her help you! Good luck!
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