If I previously hurt myself, can I still bring a claim if I get hurt again in an accident?
Yes, you may bring a claim for an aggravation of prior injuries or conditions that existed at the time of your accident. It is not uncommon for individuals to have sustained prior injuries from accidents or to have pre-existing degenerative or arthritic conditions related to age. These prior conditions may not have been be symptomatic at the time of an accident and may not have caused any significant limitations to someone at the time of the accident. However, the pre-existing condition may become a problem after someone is involved in a car accident, work accident or fall down accident.
New Jersey law states that if a person had a preexisting condition that was not causing any symptoms at the time of the accident, but that the preexisting condition combined with injuries incurred in the accident now cause problems, then the individual is entitled to recover for the full extent of the damages he/she sustained. If the person was still experiencing symptoms of the preexisting condition at the time of the accident, he/she is still entitled to damages for that portion of his injuries which have become aggravated and are attributable to the accident.
Additionally, if a person previously received a worker’s compensation award, he/she may have a right to reopen that award and seek additional treatment and obtain an increased award if the condition worsens and the application to the worker’s compensation court is made within two years of the last benefit.
If you have been injured because of the wrongful act of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, we can help. For a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer, contact us by e-mail or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.