Many personal injury clients are hesitant to disclose to their attorneys any prior injuries that still pain them or affect them. From the viewpoint of an accident victim, it might seem as if disclosure of a prior injury could make them seem “already damaged” and thus decrease the seriousness with which others take the extent of their current injuries. Actually, when faced with this situation, the best thing to do is to disclose prior injuries as fully as possible to both your attorney and your treating physician. Hiding the existence of prior injuries can severely hurt your personal injury case, as well as hamper your ability to get the best medical care possible for your current injuries.
The Importance of Disclosure to Credibility
The Southern California personal injury lawyers of Steinberg Injury Lawyers work with accident victims every single day, and one of the first topics our lawyers generally cover is the client’s medical background. It is important to be honest with your attorney and disclose both the nature and extent of prior injuries, in addition to current ones. The defense side in a lawsuit will conduct an investigation into a plaintiff’s background to the furthest extent they are able. Any surprises during hearings and trial can cause the judge and jury to suspect the legitimacy of your current injuries.
Prior Injuries Give an Opportunity for Comparison
The existence of prior injuries can actually be helpful in a personal injury case. For instance, prior injuries generally mean prior diagnoses, x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, or other diagnostic tests. If the current and prior injuries were in the same part of the body, a comparative review of the old tests and the new ones can show a judge and jury the extent of injury caused by the accident. Even if there was some lasting damage or other effect by the prior injury, this is not necessarily detrimental to a plaintiff’s case. Defendants in California personal injury cases take their plaintiffs as they are, meaning a defendant is not any less liable for injuries simply because the plaintiff was weakened or already unusually vulnerable to being injured.
If you’ve been in a personal injury accident in Southern California, or know someone who has, give the Steinberg Injury Lawyer offices a call. We can help you decide on the best course of action because our Southern California personal injury lawyers specialize in helping accident victims recover, both financially and otherwise, to the fullest extent possible. Call us today at 1-800-350-8888.