Personal Injury

What to Do if an Accident Aggravates a Pre-Existing Injury?

Accidents happen when we least expect them, and they can sometimes worsen pre-existing injuries, complicating matters further.

Whether it’s a car crash, a slip-and-fall incident, or any other mishap, aggravating an existing injury can be both physically and emotionally distressing. In such situations, knowing how to navigate the aftermath is crucial.

This is when it’s vital to seek the help of a qualified, experienced Kansas personal injury lawyer, like those at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC.

Pre-Existing Injuries

Pre-existing injuries that are most commonly aggravated in accidents can vary depending on the type of accident and your medical history. However, some pre-existing injuries are more prone to re-injury based on the nature of the accident.

Here are a few examples:

  • Back and Neck Injuries: Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or whiplash can be exacerbated by sudden impact accidents like car crashes or falls. The force of the impact can further strain the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the back and neck, leading to increased pain and discomfort.
  • Joint Injuries: Pre-existing joint injuries, such as arthritis or previous ligament tears, can be aggravated in accidents involving sudden movements or joint trauma. For example, a slip-and-fall accident can worsen knee or hip arthritis, while a car accident can cause further damage to previously injured ligaments or cartilage.
  • Head Injuries: Individuals with a history of concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are at risk of exacerbating these conditions in accidents involving head trauma, such as falls or collisions. Even a minor bump to the head can lead to a worsening of symptoms and long-term cognitive issues.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Conditions like tendonitis, bursitis, or chronic muscle strains can flare up or worsen in accidents that involve sudden movements, impacts, or repetitive stress. These injuries often affect the shoulders, elbows, wrists, or knees, resulting in increased pain and limited mobility.
  • Nerve Damage: Pre-existing nerve damage, such as sciatica or peripheral neuropathy, can be aggravated by accidents that further compress or injure the nerves. The impact or trauma from an accident can worsen symptoms like numbness, tingling, or shooting pain along the affected nerve pathways.

It’s essential if you have a pre-existing injury to take precautions to protect yourself from further harm in accidents. This may include wearing appropriate protective gear, practicing safe behaviors, and seeking medical attention promptly if an accident occurs.

Be proactive in managing and treating your pre-existing conditions to help minimize the risk of aggravation in the event of an accident.

Next, we’ll discuss the steps you should take if an accident worsens a pre-existing injury.

Steps to Take if an Accident Aggravates a Pre-Existing Injury

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Regardless of whether you think your pre-existing injury has worsened, it’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Even minor incidents can have hidden injuries that may not manifest symptoms right away. A healthcare professional can evaluate your condition, diagnose any new injuries or aggravations, and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Inform the Medical Provider About Your Pre-Existing Injury

When seeking medical attention, be sure to inform the healthcare provider about your pre-existing injury. This information is crucial for an accurate assessment and treatment plan. Your medical history, including previous injuries or medical conditions, can significantly impact the course of treatment and recovery. Providing this information upfront ensures that you receive the best possible care tailored to your specific needs.

Document Everything

Documentation is key in any accident scenario, especially when dealing with pre-existing injuries. Keep detailed records of the accident, including photographs of the scene, any visible injuries, and property damage. Additionally, obtain copies of medical reports, test results, and treatment plans related to both your pre-existing injury and any new injuries sustained in the accident. These documents will be invaluable if you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action later.

Consult with an Attorney

If the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence and caused further harm to your pre-existing injury, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney.

An experienced attorney can assess the circumstances of the accident, determine liability, and advise you on the best course of action. They can also handle communication with insurance companies and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

Communicate with Your Employer

If the accident occurred at your workplace or during work-related activities, be sure to communicate with your employer about the incident and any resulting injuries.

They may need to file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf or make accommodations to assist you in returning to work safely. Open communication with your employer can help facilitate a smoother transition back to work and ensure that your rights are protected under workers’ compensation laws.

Experiencing an accident that triggers or worsens a pre-existing injury can be challenging, but knowing how to handle the situation can make all the difference in your recovery.

By seeking medical attention, documenting the incident, consulting with legal counsel, and prioritizing self-care, you can effectively navigate the aftermath of the accident and work towards healing both physically and emotionally.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and resources and support are available to help you through it, including the experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyers here at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC.

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Our highly qualified and compassionate team is available to listen and evaluate your case. We do not charge any fees unless we win. Call us at (800) 266-0036 to get started!

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