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January 6, 2020

What happens if a preexisting injury is aggravated in collision?

Personal Injury Law Moses Lake

One of the thorniest issues in personal injury litigation can be sorting out the damages caused by a motor vehicle collision from preexisting injuries. If the injured person suffered from a preexisting injury that was causing some amount of pain or disability at the time of the collision, then the injured person is only able to recover damages for the degree to which the pain or disability was aggravated by the collision. If, however, the injured person suffered from a preexisting injury that was not causing any symptoms at the time of the collision, then the injured person is generally entitled to recover all damages resulting from the collision, without a reduction for the preexisting collision. This is true even if the damages are greater than they would have been without the preexisting condition. The reason for this rule is that the person who causes an injury takes the injured person as they are, and should be responsible for making a preexisting condition that is not symptomatic into one that is symptomatic. Ahrend Law has recently filed a brief before Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals to uphold a substantial verdict for a woman with a non-symptomatic preexisting degenerative disk disease that addresses these issues.

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