Claiming compensation when an accident makes a pre-existing injury worse

Tue 9th Jun 2020

People are often unsure whether it is possible to claim compensation if an existing injury or health condition is exacerbated or accelerated because of an accident. Catherine Hyde, Personal Injury Specialist at Coodes Solicitors, explains.

If you are injured due to the actions or negligence of someone else you can claim compensation, whether or not that injury is new, a pre-existing condition that is aggravated or an old injury that has been exacerbated.

You are entitled to claim compensation if a pre-existing injury or illness is made worse because of an accident which has been caused by someone else, or their negligence, and is no fault of your own.

Accidents such as these can cause additional pain and suffering, seriously affecting an individual’s ability to work and look after themselves or others.

Cases where the claimant has a pre-existing injury may, however, be more difficult to win. That is because they are often less clear and may need to rely heavily on medical evidence.

Personal injury claim for a pre-existing injury

No matter what type of injury you have suffered, the main thing that you must be able to prove in order to claim compensation is that the accident was the fault of someone else’s negligence and that they hadn’t taken steps to avoid the accident from happening in the first place.

Medical evidence may be key to the success of your claim and you should have your injury treated at a hospital. If your pre-existing condition was made worse due to the actions of others, then a doctor’s opinion of the condition and how your accident has made it worse will be crucial.

If the incident which aggravated your pre-existing injury or condition occurred at work, then you need to ensure the accident is recorded in your company’s accident book. Every business, however big or small, is legally obliged to keep an accident log, and this record will help to prove your claim.

Making a claim

You usually have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. However, it is important for you to begin the process as soon as possible, so you can get the support and help you need.

As every injury, and every pre-existing condition, is different, the amount you are likely to receive alters from case to case. Factors to be considered will include the severity of your injury, any financial losses you may have suffered or lifestyle changes as a result of your accident.

Coodes is a leading personal injury solicitors and can offer you vital expert advice before you decide to make a claim. We can provide a personal service throughout the compensation claim process, offering all the support, advice and expertise you need.

For advice on any personal injury claims, please contact Catherine Hyde in the Personal Injury team at 01326 214032 or

Tue 9th Jun 2020

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