Prior Accidents: Do They Affect Your Current Personal Injury Claim?

In an accident case, it is no uncommon for a plaintiff to have previous injuries. However, when the previous injuries overlap the current injury in the claim, it gives the defense an opportunity to fight the facts of the case. Regardless if you have a previous injury in the same location or elsewhere, it is important that you notify your personal injury attorney of any previous injuries or conditions, and let your attorney argue the facts on your behalf. While you cannot collect compensation for an injury from prior accidents, you can receive compensation for the physical and mental conditions caused or exacerbated (worsened) by the current incident.

The Importance of Previous Injury Disclosure

After an accident, you must notify your personal injury attorney about any prior injuries or conditions. Failing to disclose such information could affect your claim’s success, and it will likely damage your credibility in court.

The Proof of New Injuries versus Your Prior Injuries

If the current incident aggravated your past injuries, or your new injuries have nothing to do with your old ones, your best evidence is your medical records. Your personal injury attorney can request copies of your records to show what injuries you suffered before, and how they are unrelated to the current injury.

Also, if you have an aggravated injury, your physician will need to testify that your current symptoms are new, and they will need to outline what the incident did to aggravate an old injury or condition.

A Physician Narrative is Vital

Often, a doctor’s narrative will be the key component required to prove your case. Your personal injury attorney can request a formal narrative from your doctor, but it is up to you to ensure your medical records are accurate from the start.  Therefore, when you seek medical treatment after an accident, let the physician know that you have a prior injury, but make it clear whether that previous injury is affected by the recent accident or not.

Your personal injury attorney will be able to compare past medical records with current records to show the defense that you have had changes in your medical scans, symptoms, and more. For assistance with an injury claim that involves a previous injury, speak with an attorney from Udall Shumway, PLC now.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Prior Accidents, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full-service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.