How Prior Injuries Come to Play in California Personal Injury Claims

When you’re involved in a personal injury claim, you may find that the insurance company is going to seek to prove that you have no serious injuries, or that any new injuries you’ve sustained are the result of aggravations of preexisting injuries. When they use this argument, they look to offer low settlement amounts. An experienced personal injury attorney’s job is to prove otherwise to get his client the best settlement amount possible.

Proving Liability Claims

When a personal injury claim involves an insurance company, the injured party must prove the insurance company’s insured is liable for the injury. Liability is the responsibility legally imposed on a person’s actions or his failure to act. A plaintiff proves a liability to establish he is owed money by the insurance company. To prove liability, the plaintiff’s attorney must convince the jury or judge of three things: breach of the plaintiff’s duty to care, causation and negligence.

What Needs to Happen

A court defines a duty of care as the expectation that a person is to act reasonably towards others. For example, a driver of an automobile owes passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers a duty of care while on the roadway.

A court defines negligence as the lack of ordinary care, in that a negligent individual fails to act in a way that a reasonable person is expected to work in a similar situation. A driver on the road is negligent when he drives erratically or excessively.

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Lastly, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the at-fault party caused his client’s injury. This is often referred to as the substantial factor test, and the attorney must demonstrate that the defendant’s failure to act was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury.

Prior Injuries and New Claims

When you arrive at this stage of the game, the insurance company may try to say that even if the at-fault party acted negligently, that action could not prove injury because the plaintiff had existing injuries. For example, if a person with a broken wrist was hit by a car while crossing the street, the insurance company will fight liability because the wrist was already broken.

If you have a prior injury, and you have been injured in an accident, it’s best to maintain accurate medical records, and retain an experienced Orange County car accident attorney to help you find success in your claim. To find more information on orange county personal injury attorneys, visit today.