Aggravation And Exacerbation Of Pre-Existing Injuries
Our New York accident lawyers have successfully handled numerous injury cases for clients who have had pre-existing injuries or conditions. One of the most common questions that our New York personal injury lawyers hear is: I got hurt in an accident, but I already had a problem, do I still have a case.
The answer is usually yes. The insurance company lawyers routinely claim that the injury was already there and the Plaintiff is trying to take advantage of the system by recovering for an injury that they already had. Our experienced New York personal injury lawyers know the medicine and know how to rebut these arguments. Our personal injury lawyers always get the old medical records, especially the objective diagnostic tests such as MRI reports, CT reports, EMG, SSEP, electrodiagnostic testing and operative reports. We then compare the old records and films, with what is present now. Our New York personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in comparing the old and new to see if there are differences which allow us to demonstrate what new damage or worsening of a medical condition was caused by an accident.
Neck and Back
Neck and back injuries are among the most common injuries that are sustained in car, motorcycle and truck accidents, as well as work accidents and slip, trip and fall accidents. The defendants and insurance companies always look at these cases in a fast and loose manner and claim they already had a back injury. Our New York personal injury lawyers look at the medicine in a more focused manner and ask, did they have this back or neck problem and if so was it made worse. Even where there was a prior bulge or herniation, our attorneys look closely and compare whether the herniated disc became more pronounced or extruded than it was before and whether there is now nerve or spinal impingement which was not there prior. Also, our personal injury attorneys often find that there is a new problem that was not there before. For example, there may have been a herniation at L4-5, but now there is also a herniation at L5-S1. Also, our New York accident lawyers look closely at the electrodiagnostic testing, which can often tell whether a nerve injury was chronic, acute or subacute, which means of recent onset.
In the neck and back, there are also a number of pre-existing conditions that make it easier to sustain a more serious injury but do not in and of themselves cause any symptoms. A common example is desiccation. Defense attorneys often argue that the existence of desiccation means that a herniation must have been pre-existing. Our New York personal injury lawyers know better and have exposed these fallacies time and time again in Court. Desiccation does not cause pain or symptoms and the reality is that everyone over the age of 30 has some degree of desiccation in their spine. Desiccation has even been seen in teenagers and is essentially an incidental condition. Desiccation is a loss of water in the disc, and while it may result in a more serious injury from less trauma, it is not a cause of a herniated, protruded or extruded disc, in and of itself.
Knees and Shoulder Injuries
Our New York personal injury lawyers have successfully tried and resolved numerous cases involving shoulder and knee injuries, where our client had a prior condition or even a prior surgery. These cases are surprisingly easy to win, even though most attorneys fear them. In the cases of prior knee or shoulder surgery, involving a meniscal tear or a rotator cuff tear, the tear was debrided, which means removed. Therefore after the first surgery, the joint was usually left in pristine condition, as such, anything that is new must have been caused by the accident because the prior surgery removed the pre-existing injury and condition.