Pre-existing Condition in a Personal Injury* Claim

If an individual commences a civil claim case and they have a fractured fibula, for example, as a result of a road traffic accident, it can occur that in the defence of your case, the defendant contends that the injury the subject-matter of the proceedings stemmed from a pre-existing injury/condition.

Sometimes it can happen a person sustains an injury, such as a fracture and sometime in their medical history they also sustained a fracture in the same or similar place in the body.

The difference in time between the first and second injury could be ten years, but a defendant may nevertheless contend a previous accident/condition is the cause of the pain.

It is important for the injured person’s solicitor to review the person’s medical records to put the pieces of the medical history jigsaw together. The injured person’s doctor should be the person best placed to deal with this issue, if the person has been with them over many years. People generally don’t tend to change their G.P. often, and a G.P. is often well placed to give a knowledgeable opinion on this matter, or it can be the person’s specialist, such as an orthopaedic surgeon in this scenario. The doctor should have all of the persons relevant medical records to conduct their review, but it is important for the person’s case this is answered decisively.

It may be the case that a previous injury was aggravated by the current injury the person has, but if the person was not symptomatic for a reasonable period before the date of the accident, then it should be clear that the pain and suffering arose from the incident that caused the injury which is the subject-matter of the case. Facts are facts, and what are the medical facts if this issue arises, will simply need to be established.


Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.

Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.

8(b) “In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”.

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