By Lewis Lennon. Last Updated 28th April 2023. Many people are aware that if they are injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, they could claim compensation for their injuries. But what if an accident that wasn’t your fault causes a pre-existing condition to worsen? Could you make a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition, and if so, how would your compensation be affected?
Here at Advice.co.uk, we aim to answer many common questions about making injury claims, and this guide focuses on information you may need to make a pre-existing injury claim for a car accident, accident at work, or another type of accident that wasn’t your fault. In the sections below, you’ll find useful insight on compensation amounts for an acceleration of a pre-existing condition, and the types of injury that could be exacerbated by certain types of accidents. We also offer guidance on finding someone to help you fight your claim and give you information on how you could obtain free legal advice on your claim. If we can help in any way, by providing advice, connecting you with a solicitor or by providing a free eligibility check on your case, you can call us at any time on 0161 696 9685.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Making Personal Injury Claims With A Pre Existing Condition
- Pre Existing Personal Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
- Examples Of Special Damages Claimable For Accidents Aggravating Pre Existing Injuries
- What Constitutes A Pre Existing Medical Condition?
- How Could An Accident Affect A Pre Existing Injury?
- What Are Your Rights To Compensation If A Pre Existing Injury Is Worsened?
- Seeking Medical Advice About Making A Claim Involving A Pre Existing Injury
- Liability In Personal Injury Claims Involving Pre Existing Injuries
- Claims For Whiplash Aggravating A Pre Existing Neck Injury
- Claims For An Accident Aggravating A Pre Existing Back Injury
- Claims For Workplace Accidents Aggravating Pre Existing Injuries
- No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims With A Pre Existing Condition
- Contact Us
- Related Information
Whether you’ve been involved in a workplace accident that has exacerbated a pre-existing back injury, or you’ve been hurt in a car accident and accelerated a pre-existing neck injury, you may have questions about whether you could make a personal injury claim with a pre-existing injury. If you were already suffering from an injury or condition, you might wonder whether your pre-existing condition would affect your compensation payout, or whether you’d be eligible to claim any compensation at all if you were already injured.
This guide aims to explain all you may need to know about making a personal injury claim with a pre-existing injury. In the sections below, we’ll answer questions such as:
- What does pre-existing injury mean?
- Can you sue for a pre-existing injury?
- Can you claim injury after 3 years?
- Do you need to see a doctor to claim for an accident with an acceleration of a pre-existing condition?
- Where can you find free legal advice or a personal injury lawyer to help with a pre-existing injury claim?
We also explain how compensation amounts for pre-existing conditions personal injury claim could be calculated, and what types of compensation you could receive for such a personal injury claim.
When it comes to the suffering, pain and loss of amenity caused by an accident that causes acceleration of a pre-existing condition, the compensation payouts you’d get may be different than they would be if you were suffering an entirely new injury and were otherwise healthy. Of course, every case is assessed on its own merits, and all the evidence, facts and circumstances surrounding the case would need to be taken into account when solicitors and the courts calculate compensation payouts. To give some examples of appropriate guidelines payout amounts for exacerbations of pre-existing conditions, we can look at the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that gives guidance on compensation amounts for a variety of injuries. If we have not included your injury below, the team working on our free legal advice helpline could offer further insight over the phone.
|Moderate neck injuries (i)
|Where symptoms have been accelerated leaving markedly impaired function.
|Moderate knee injuries (i)
|Acceleration of symptoms over a prolonged period (years)
|£14,840 to £26,190
|Moderate neck injuries (ii)
|Where symptoms have been accelerated by 5+ years
|Moderate knee injuries (ii)
|Acceleration of symptoms over a shorter period (years)
|Up to £13,740
|Minor back injuries (i)
|Short-term acceleration/exacerbation of neck injuries by 2-5 years
|£7,890 to £12,510
|Minor back injuries (ii)
|Short-term acceleration/exacerbation of neck injuries by less than 2 years
|£4,350 to £7,890
|Minor neck injuries (i)
|Short-term acceleration/exacerbation of neck injuries by 1-2 years
|Minor neck injuries (ii)
|Short-term acceleration/exacerbation of neck injuries by less than one year
There are two types of damages that could be included in a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition. These are known as general damages and special damages.
These are designed to compensate victims of personal injury for the loss of amenity, pain and suffering caused by the injury. Examples of these damages were included in the table in the previous section.
These relate to quantifiable financial expenses caused by your injuries. There are many different types of special damages, as included in the sections below.
If you’ve had to pay for medical treatments, such as prescription medicines, or physiotherapy, for example, you could claim these costs as special damages.
Loss Of Income
If you’re pursuing a pre-existing condition personal injury claim in the UK, you could claim for any loss of income that you have incurred because you’ve had to take time off work due to the exacerbation of your injury.
You could also include travel costs in a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition, if the costs were for medical appointments or visits to your lawyer, for example.
If, for example, you had a whiplash injury with a pre-existing condition that left you unable to perform tasks such as washing or dressing, you could claim the costs of care.
importantly you can only claim general and special damages for the additional suffering caused. You cannot claim anything for your original injury. If you are unsure as to whether you could include certain expenses in an insurance claim with a pre-existing condition, or in a personal injury claim, our team would be glad to talk to you and offer free legal advice over the phone.
You might be wondering, ‘What constitutes a pre existing medical condition?’ It is a health problem that you suffered from before the accident took place.
Some examples of pre-existing medical conditions include:
- Mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Breaks or fractures you are currently being treated for or have experienced in the past that could still affect you, such as a broken ankle.
You could still make a personal injury claim with a pre existing medical condition in the UK. However, you would need to prove the following:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- This duty of care was breached.
- Due to this, you suffered an injury.
Additionally, you would only be able to claim for injuries you have suffered in the accident or for an exacerbation or acceleration of your pre-existing condition due to the accident.
Speak to our advisors today to discuss your potential claim. They could also offer you free advice and answer any questions you may have.
How Do You Know If You Can Make A Personal Injury Claim With A Pre existing Condition?
As you can see, each scenario leaves us with questions. There is no simple answer as to whether you could make a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition. The answer would depend on what the pre-existing condition was, how the accident happened, how it worsened your injury, and whether your injury would have worsened without the accident having happened. This would involve gathering evidence about the accident that you believe has worsened a pre-existing injury or condition, and expert medical evidence from an independent medical professional.
There are many ways in which a pre-existing injury could be affected by an accident. Some examples could include:
- Whiplash caused by a car accident causing a previous neck injury to worsen
- A lifting accident at work causing a pre-existing back injury to worsen
- A pre-existing hearing condition getting worse because of a lack of ear defenders at work
- A slip, trip, or fall in a public place causing a previously sustained broken bone that was healing to break again
- An accident at work involving machinery that causes a previous wound to reopen
If you can prove that the pre-existing medical condition would not have worsened if the accident had not taken place, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
As we mentioned, you could have the right to make a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition if you could prove that an injury had been exacerbated due to an accident that was not your fault.
Can I Claim If An Existing Injury Has Been Accelerated?
Acceleration of an injury means that you could suffer symptoms that, without an accident occurring, you would not have suffered for some time. For example, if you had a back injury that was deteriorating slowly, and it was predicted that you’d need surgery in 3-5 years’ time, an accident could accelerate the injury which could cause you to need surgery earlier than your previous prognosis predicted.
What Is The Thin Skin Rule?
In some types of personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition, the thin skin rule might be applied. The thin skin or eggshell skull rule usually applies to negligence claims, and the concept of this is that even if a person has some form of existing condition, this doesn’t mean there is an excuse for them being caused harm by negligence. One example of the use of this rule could be if someone with breathing trouble needed to have an operation. If there was an error with anaesthesia that led to them not receiving enough oxygen, for example, the thin skin rule would prevent there being a defence that their lungs were damaged anyway. The premise of this rule is that medical professionals should always consider existing medical conditions when treating a patient in order not to do them harm.
Perhaps some of the most important evidence that needs to be collected and submitted as part of a personal injury claim with a pre-existing injury is the medical evidence. If you have been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, regardless of whether you’ve suffered an exacerbation of an injury or a new injury, you should seek medical advice and treatment. Doing so right away will allow your condition to be recorded in your medical notes, and it could also help you get the advice and treatment you need to manage your condition.
If you intend to make a personal injury claim with a pre-existing injury, or even with a new one, you’d also have to go and see an independent medical expert. They would usually need access to your previous medical notes so that they can assess them, and they would also examine you and ask you questions about your symptoms. They may need to send you for further tests, such as scans and such like. This is all so that they can get a thorough picture of your medical condition. They will use the evidence collected and their professional knowledge to complete a medical report, giving their opinion on your injuries and your prognosis. This could be used to prove an acceleration or exacerbation of a previous condition and could be used to calculate appropriate compensation amounts for your injuries.
Proving liability in any personal injury claim could be tricky, which is why many claimants pursuing a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition prefer to use the services of a qualified legal professional to help them make their claims.
If you can prove that someone else has caused an accident that led to a medical condition being exacerbated or a new injury, you could have a valid route to compensation. For example, you could have a route to compensation if:
- A driver had failed to stop at a red light and had crashed into you, causing a new injury or exacerbating a pre-existing one.
- An employer had failed to protect your health and safety at work by not giving you manual handling training, and you exacerbated a back injury by lifting incorrectly or suffered a new injury.
- You had a slip accident in a supermarket because they did not signpost or clear up spillage, and it caused a new injury or accelerated a pre-existing knee injury.
Whether you’re pursuing a claim because a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition in the UK, or you’re seeking a pre-existing back injury settlement for an accident at work, we could offer you free legal advice and support over the phone. Why not get in touch to see if you could be eligible to claim compensation?
Whiplash is a common feature in car accidents. However, if you already have a neck injury and a car accident aggravated the pre-existing condition in the UK, this could cause you to suffer further damage to tendons and ligaments in the neck. In some cases, whiplash injuries could lead to long-term conditions that could lead to chronic pain.
If you are seeking a car accident settlement with a pre-existing condition like this, you could need not only to have solid medical evidence that conclusively proved that the aggravation to your injury was caused by the accident, but you’d also have to prove that someone else was at fault. This is why many claimants prefer to use a solicitor when making such a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition, as they know a solicitor would have the capability to build a strong case on their behalf.
Whether you’ve suffered a back injury at work through lifting, in a car accident or due to a fall, if you have a pre-existing back issue, this could make the injury much worse. In some cases, back injuries could lead to arthritis, which could cause long-term problems.
Again, when making a claim for the acceleration or exacerbation of a back injury, whether it’s a car accident settlement with a pre-existing condition you’re chasing or if your back injury was exacerbated in a supermarket slip, trip or fall accident, you would need to conclusively prove that the accident had caused your condition to worsen and that someone else was at fault. In order to do so, you may prefer to use a solicitor to help you claim. Not only could a solicitor help to build a strong case against a liable party, but they could also help support you through the courts if the liable party disputed your claim.
There are many different ways in which a pre-existing condition could be exacerbated in the workplace if your employer does not take care of your safety and health while you’re in work. Examples could include:
- An employer not training you in manual handling safety, leading to an exacerbation of a back injury
- An employer not removing trip hazards in the workplace, causing you to trip and fall, exacerbating a knee injury
- An employer not providing ear defenders to you for noisy work, causing an ear condition to get worse
If you believe you could be eligible to launch a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition for a workplace accident why not call us for free legal advice. We could connect you with a solicitor to help you start your claim too.
If you’re considering making a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition, you might wish to get legal support from a personal injury solicitor. Doing so would not mean you’d have to pay them upfront if you chose to work with a solicitor who worked on a No Win No Fee basis. Whether you’re chasing a car accident settlement for arthritis in the UK, or a pre-existing back injury settlement, No Win No Fee claims solicitors allow you to defer payment of legal fees until your claim has been successfully settled. The way in which these claims work is as follows:
- Your chosen solicitor would send a document called a No Win No Fee Agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreement, which they would ask you to sign. The agreement document sets out the success fee you’d pay your solicitor at the end of your claim, out of your compensation payout. The fee we mention is capped and represents only a small proportion of your payout.
- Once the signed agreement had been returned to the lawyer, they would go ahead and begin fighting for compensation on your behalf.
- Once a compensation settlement had been achieved, the success fee would be deducted from it.
What Happens If No Win No Fee Claims Fail?
You may be wondering what would happen if your personal injury claim resulted in failure. If so, we should reassure you that you would not have to pay the success fee in this case, and you would not be required to pay any of the costs the solicitor incurred while they were fighting your claim. To learn more about such claims, you can read this guide. Alternatively, we could offer free legal advice on making a claim under these terms if you call us.
For free legal advice relating to a personal injury claim with a pre-existing condition, why not give us a call? We could answer your questions, assess your claim for free, and even connect you with a personal injury solicitor who could assist with your claim. To get in touch, simply:
- Call us on 0161 696 9685
- Use the contact form and we’ll get in touch with you
- Use our live chat feature to chat to us now
Tendonitis – Tendonitis could be exacerbated in an accident at work, a car accident or another type of accident. This NHS guide could offer some insight into the condition.
What Is The Personal Injury Claims Time Limit? – This act covers limitation periods for making different types of personal injury claim.
More Information About Whiplash – Here, you can find information from NICE about whiplash and related conditions.
Soft Tissue Injury Claims – We have produced a guide to making claims for soft tissue injuries here, which could be useful if you have suffered such an injury.
Wrist Injuries – If you’ve had a wrist injury, this guide could offer some useful information.
Whiplash Personal Injury Claims Calculator – This guide could be useful if you’re looking to find out appropriate payout amounts for whiplash injuries.
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