Can a Pre-Existing Injury Hurt My Current Injury Claim?

If you have been a victim of a Richmond-area motor vehicle accident and you have a pre-existing injury or health condition, you may worry what effect this pre-existing injury or medical condition may have on your ability to recover your full damages suffered in an auto accident.  Often the opposing insurer or driver’s attorney may attack your credibility or attempt to lower the value of your case by claiming that you are trying to use a motor vehicle accident as a way to recover more than you are entitled to due to pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.  However, although having a pre-existing injury can make your case more complex, it does not mean you are entitled to receive less for your injuries under Virginia law or that you cannot pursue justice against those who harmed you.  Richmond motor vehicle accident attorney Christian Simpson has worked with numerous clients who have had pre-existing injuries or medical conditions prior to being involved in a Virginia motor vehicle accident.  He can put together a complex case involving the exacerbation of pre-existing injuries in simple, easy to understand terms and concepts that a jury of lay people can understand.  Contact Christian today if you have been involved in a Virginia motor vehicle accident and you are worried about what effect any pre-existing injury or medical condition may have on your ability to recover your full damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit.

 

Pre-Existing Injuries and Motor Vehicle Accidents under Commonwealth Law

 

In a motor vehicle accident lawsuit or any other type of personal injury case, the party that causes the injury is responsible for the consequences of his or her conduct.  The party that causes injury also takes the victim as he finds the victim.  This means that a driver who negligently injures a pedestrian is required to make that pedestrian whole for his or her injuries, regardless of whether the pedestrian is 28 years old or 80 years.  As you can imagine, the injuries suffered by the 80 year old pedestrian are likely to be much worse than the injuries suffered by the 28 year old.  An 80 year old likely has weaker bones, has a greater chance of pre-existing medical conditions that may be exacerbated by being hit by a car and may require more extensive (and thus more expensive) medical treatment than the 28 year old.  However, the driver that hit the 80 year old pedestrian (or his insurer) does not get to pay less in damages simply because there may have been a lesser amount of damages if the driver had hit someone who is younger.  Instead, the driver who causes an accident is required to compensate an injured party for his or her actual losses, including the exacerbation of any pre-existing injuries and any medical treatment, pain and suffering or other damages caused by that exacerbation.

 

As an example, if you are rear-ended and the impact causes exacerbation of a lower-back injury you suffered several years earlier at work, then the other driver and his or her insurer are responsible for compensating you for the exacerbation of your pre-existing condition.  It does not matter that the average person may not have suffered the same injuries as you.  An insurance claim or lawsuit is about the damages that you, the accident victim, actually suffered.  If those damages included exacerbation of a pre-existing injury, then those are damages available to you under Commonwealth law.  Nothing prevents the opposing party (or their attorney) from arguing that your pre-existing injury or condition, rather than the accident, is the reason you need certain medical treatment or the cause of certain pain you are feeling.  However, Virginia law provides that a driver who causes an accident takes you as they find you.  They are responsible for any exacerbation of any prior injury you may have suffered and any medical expenses or other damages associated with that exacerbation.  Certainly pre-existing injuries can make a case more complex, but having pre-existing injuries or medical conditions does not mean that your Richmond motor vehicle accident will be worth less.

 

Contact Richmond Accident Attorney Christian Simpson if You or a Loved One Have Been Involved in a Virginia Car Accident

 

Experienced Virginia motor vehicle accident attorney Christian Simpson of Commonwealth Accident and Injury Law, PC is an experienced car accident attorney who represents individuals who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. Christian’s entire practice is concentrated in the area of motor vehicle accidents and he has represented dozens of clients who had the unfortunate luck to be involved in an accident in Richmond or the surrounding areas and have suffered the exacerbation of pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.  Christian therefore understands the devastating consequences that an accident can cause and he will do everything within his power under Commonwealth law to help make you and your family whole for the devastating losses that accompany accidents.  He is not afraid to take your case to trial to ensure that you recover the full measure of damages you are entitled to under Commonwealth law.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Richmond area, contact Christian today at 1-800-HURT-123 or cs@vacail.com a free consultation.

I Just Got Hit!: What to Do at the Accident Scene

You are on your way home after a long day at the office in downtown Richmond, but traffic is backed up on I-95 and you are forced to stop suddenly.  The car behind you, who was following too closely considering the heavy traffic, slams into the back of your vehicle and your airbag deploys.  You sit in your car, numb with shock and unsure what to do next.  Being involved in an accident is a lot to handle on your own, but there are some steps you should take immediately upon being involved in a motor vehicle accident in Virginia.

  1. Pull Your Car to the Side of the Road

Especially in heavy traffic, it is not uncommon for people who have been in an accident to get hit by other cars while stopped on the road. Therefore, it is always a good idea when you have been involved in a collision to move to the shoulder before exchanging information with the other driver, talking to police or taking any of the other steps below.  In addition, leaving an accident scene can result in having your driving privileges revoked or your driver’s license suspended under Commonwealth law. These convictions will be reflected on your driving record for eleven years if the accident resulted in death, injury or damages exceeding $1,000.

  1. Call the Police to Report the Accident

It is imperative that you call the police as soon as possible after being involved in an accident.  This is particularly important if the other driver was a fault and is attempting to convince you to handle it “just between the two of you.”  The police are required to complete an accident report if called out to the scene of an accident.  This can become a very important document for purposes of negotiations with the other driver or his or her insurance company.  It often will be vital in any legal case which results from the accident.  In addition, you are also required to contact police under Virginia law if a motor vehicle accident results in any fatalities, injuries, or damages exceeding $1,000.

  1. Exchange Information with the Other Motorists Involved in the Accident

Accidents tend to happen extremely quickly and memories can fade quickly.  Therefore, it is imperative that you obtain contact and other information from any others involved in the accident as well as anyone who may have witnessed the accident or have any information regarding the accident.  This includes any witnesses or bystanders who may be able to corroborate how the accident occurred so that you or your attorney can contact them after the accident.  From other drivers involved in the accident, you should always ensure you obtain the driver’s name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, car insurance carrier, policy number, and the driver’s license place number.  If possible, also get the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for the other driver’s vehicle, which will enable you to determine whether any damage the driver is claiming was caused in the accident was actually pre-existing damage.  From witnesses, ensure that you get their contact information, including name, address, telephone number and email address.

  1. Never Admit Fault in Connection with the Accident

People involved in accidents often think they did something that caused the crash and tell the police or other driver(s) that they bore the responsibility for the accident when in reality nothing they did caused the accident.  However, an admission of fault is something that another driver or his or her insurer may seek to use against you in a subsequent lawsuit or negotiations regarding an auto accident claim you may file with the other driver’s insurer.  Therefore, you should never admit fault in connection with a motor vehicle accident.

  1. Get Treatment for Any Injuries As Soon as Possible

If you have been injured in a Virginia motor vehicle accident you should seek medical attention as soon as you can after the accident.  Even if you do not feel any immediate pain or symptoms, it can be smart to obtain an examination from a physician just to ensure that you did not suffer whiplash or any other injuries that might manifest themselves later from the accident.  Waiting to obtain treatment can negatively impact your ability to recover for any medical bills necessitated by injuries suffered in the accident because the other party may point to the fact that you delayed seeking treatment to downplay your injuries.

  1. Contact Experienced Virginia Motor Vehicle Attorney Christian Simpson

Experienced Richmond, Virginia motor vehicle accident attorney Christian Simpson of Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, PC concentrates his law practice in the area of motor vehicle accidents and he has represented dozens of clients who had the unfortunate luck to be involved in an accident in Richmond or the surrounding areas.  Christian will do everything within his power under Commonwealth law to help make you and your family whole for the devastating losses that accompany accidents.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Richmond area, contact Christian as soon as possible after the accident at 1-800-HURT-123 or cs@vacail.com a free consultation so that Christian can immediately begin working on your case.

 

How Much is My Case Worth?

If you have been involved in a Virginia car accident, you know it is one of the most traumatic experiences that can occur to someone.  Motor vehicle accidents can have devastating consequences, particularly financially. They can leave you without a way to get to work, the grocery store, or take your kids to school. Therefore, people will often ask what their Virginia motor vehicle accident case is worth.  Although each case is unique, there are several factors common to most Virginia car accident cases that can determine how much your case may be worth.  Regardless of how much your case is worth, however, it is imperative that you hire an experienced Virginia motor vehicle attorney to represent you if you have been involved in an accident in the Commonwealth.

Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Case

Among the factors affecting a case’s value are the severity and permanency of any injuries suffered in the car accident and the resulting medical treatment needed to recover from those injuries, any wage or income losses you incurred, and the pain and suffering you suffered in the motor vehicle accident.  Although the circumstances of each case are different, as a general rule, the more serious your injuries, the more your case will be worth.

Under Commonwealth law, you can recover for both economic and non-economic damages in a Virginia motor vehicle accident.  Economic damages available include out-of-pocket expenses you have to pay as a result of an accident such as car repair bills, medical bills for treatment for injuries suffered in the accident, and lost wages you may suffer if you are unable to work due to either your injuries or if your vehicle has to be repaired and you have no way to get to work.

Non-economic damages are also available in connection with Virginia motor vehicle accidents.  Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life which you suffered as a result of the accident or your injuries.

Contact Experienced Virginia Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Christian Simpson if You Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident Today

Experienced Virginia motor vehicle accident attorney Christian Simpson of Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, PC is an experienced car accident attorney who represents individuals who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. Christian’s entire practice is concentrated in the area of motor vehicle accidents and he has represented dozens of clients who had the unfortunate luck to be involved in an accident in Richmond or the surrounding areas.  Christian therefore understands the devastating consequences that an accident can cause and he will do everything within his power under Commonwealth law to help make you and your family whole for the devastating losses that accompany accidents.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Richmond area, contact Christian today at 1-800-HURT-123 or cs@vacail.com a free consultation.