Preexisting Degenerative Back Conditions and Personal Injury Claims

There is a high possibility of aggravating a preexisting back, neck, or spine condition in auto accident, slip, trip, and fall accident, work place accident, and other serious accidents. Insurance companies frequently try to use your preexisting conditions against your case, casting blame on those conditions rather than on the accident that triggered your symptoms. Getting the settlement you deserve when dealing with insurance companies requires experienced personal injury attorneys. Please call us at 541-617-0555 if you have been injured in an accident.

Preexisting Back Injuries can be Activated or Aggravated in Serious Accidents:

In this video clip, Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC’s partner and lead litigation attorney Tim Williams discusses the legal situation in which an accident victim has some degenerative conditions, specifically back conditions, that contribute to the severity of his or her accident-related injuries.

Generally, when a person has some natural wear and tear in the back, he or she doesn’t have any active symptoms. They’re none the wiser to their underlying back conditions. If they are struck from behind in an auto accident, it is entirely possible that their back symptoms will be activated. Insurance companies often take the position that, because the preexisting conditions were there prior to the accident, then they are causing the accident victim’s symptoms, thus it isn’t the accident itself that caused the symptoms. According to this logic, the insurance company wouldn’t owe an accident victim any money damages at all for the accident-related injuries that they sustained.

What the insurance companies forget is that Oregon law protects accident victims. In typical Oregon jury instructions about preexisting injuries, the instruction that a judge would give to a jury reads: “if you find that the plaintiff—the person who has been injured through the fault of the other—had a bodily condition that predisposed him or her to be more subject to injury than a person in normal health, then the defendant—the person on trial for having caused the accident—would be liable for any and all injuries and damage that may have been suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s negligence.” In other words, even if a plaintiff has a preexisting condition that predisposes him or her to injury, he/she is entitled to compensation for accident-related injuries, even though those injuries would not have been as severe if sustained by someone who didn’t have a preexisting condition.

Hopefully, you found this information useful and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to watch this video, and please watch our other videos concerning some of the other injuries that our law firm most commonly deals with:

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