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How a pre-existing injury may impact your personal injury claim

Colorado law entitles anyone injured because of the negligence of another party to receive compensation for their injuries and other damages. However, if you have a pre-existing injury, you may have more difficulty proving that your damages resulted from the actions of the at-fault party. 

You should prepare yourself to disclose the nature of your pre-existing injuries and provide evidence that the damages you are seeking compensation for were not caused by those injuries. That being said, if your pre-existing injury was made worse by the crash you can receive compensation. Or if your pre-existing injury made you easier to injure in the crash, you can receive compensation.

What is a pre-existing injury?

A pre-existing injury is any illness, health condition or injury that you sustained before the accident that caused the injuries you seek compensation for. This includes congenital abnormalities, chronic health conditions and injuries from previous accidents. Many types of injuries and health conditions can be pre-existing: 

  • Previous concussions or brain injuries 
  • Healed bone fractures 
  • Old strains and sprains 
  • Chronic neck and back pain 
  • Degenerative disk disease 
  • Arthritis 
  • Others 

How might a pre-existing injury affect your claim?

You should disclose any pre-existing conditions you have when dealing with the other party’s insurance company or attorney. Attempting to conceal them can hurt your case.  

The other party may attempt to prove that the injury or condition you seek compensation for existed before the accident. You need to provide medical documentation that proves that the accident you seek compensation for caused your injury or made it worse. 

While a pre-existing injury may make it more difficult to prove your damages, the other party can not deny compensation solely based on the existence of that injury.