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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

What if My Car Accident Made My Pre-Existing Injury Worse?

February 11, 2021 in

Car accidents can cause extensive damage, including physical and emotional trauma. For individuals with chronic or pre-existing injuries, a car accident can exacerbate the symptoms of those injuries in addition to causing new injuries. If an existing health issue worsens as a result of an accident, know that there are legal avenues you can take to receive necessary compensation for your personal injury. 


Examples of Pre-Existing Injuries and Medical Conditions


Back Problems

In addition to new injuries that could be sustained in an automotive accident, victims can also experience aggravated symptoms of their existing injuries. Common pre-existing injuries that could become worse in a car accident are back injuries. Chronic back issues such as spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis or disc problems can become aggravated in the event of an automotive accident. 


Neck Problems

Chronic neck issues such as cervical spondylosis, cervical arthritis and herniated discs can become exacerbated in an automotive accident. Whiplash is a common neck injury that can occur in a car accident. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common causes of whiplash, and the forceful back-and-forth motion of whiplash can cause pre-existing neck injuries to worsen. 


Broken Bones

A car accident can cause healing broken bones to re-break or re-fracture if they were not fully healed at the time of the collision. Car accidents are already one of the leading causes of broken bones for healthy individuals with no prior bone injuries—there is a high chance, therefore, that an auto accident can cause your healing bone to re-break and reverse all progress that had been made during recovery.


Brain Trauma

Pre-existing conditions, such as brain injuries, can also be exacerbated in a serious car accident. Traumatic brain injuries that cause chronic pain or dizziness can worsen exponentially in the event of a car accident. A second impact concussion, or second impact syndrome (SIS), for example, is a concussion that occurs when the victim is still in the recovery process from their first concussion. SIS can lead to rapid brain swelling among other serious symptoms. 



Arthritis is a form of severe joint inflammation that can occur throughout the body and become aggravated in the event of a car collision. Pain, swelling and stiffness can worsen exponentially if you suffer injuries sustained in a car accident as an arthritis patient.


Damages Can Be Recovered If Your Pre-Existing Condition Worsens Post-Accident


If you were the victim of a car accident, you cannot collect damages for any previous injuries you’ve obtained that are fully healed or cured. However, if an existing or chronic injury worsened in the event of a car accident, you may be entitled to collect damages to be allocated towards alleviating your worsened condition. 


An Overview of The Eggshell Plaintiff Rule


The eggshell plaintiff rule, or eggshell skull rule, states that the defendant in a case is liable for any unforeseeable reactions that the plaintiff experienced as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In other words, the defendant would be liable to pay damages to cover the plaintiff’s exacerbated pre-existing injuries that weren’t foreseeable. The defendant would ultimately be responsible for any new injuries that occurred as a result of their negligence, in addition to the worsening of existing injuries or medical conditions that may present themselves.


Did Your Existing Condition Worsen as a Result of a Car Accident? Contact SPBMCC Today


Car accidents are known to cause a variety of injuries such as whiplash, broken bones and fractures. You don’t often think about how accidents can lead to the exacerbation of existing injuries such as a cardiovascular condition, arthritis, spinal injuries or brain trauma from a previous incident. If your existing injury worsened as a result of an automotive accident, you are not alone in your pain and suffering. The perpetrator whose negligence caused the accident may be held liable for the aggravation of your conditions, and you may be eligible for additional financial compensation. Consult our knowledgeable team of New York car accident lawyers today to discuss the specifics of your case: fill out a form here or call us today: (212)-732-9000.

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