Last Updated on November 11, 2020 by Theodore Spaulding
Pre-existing injuries are a common argument that insurance companies try to use in car accident cases. Fortunately, the experienced legal team at Spaulding Injury Law knows how to fight back against these insurance company tactics. Recently, our firm won an outstanding $350,000 settlement for a client who suffered a serious cervical spine injury in a wreck on GA 400. Our client thought all hope was lost when the insurance company insisted her injury was pre-existing. Afterall, she had suffered an injury to her spine before. But our team was not about to back down. Our lawyers were able to clearly refute the insurer’s claim, prove that her damages were directly caused by the accident, and secure the full compensation our client deserved.
On May 1, 2018, our client was driving on GA 400 when she came upon some traffic caused by a backup along the Exit 14 off-ramp for SR 20 in Cumming. She was slowing down her Toyota Yaris to about 45 miles per hour when a driver in a Toyota 4Runner slammed into her from behind. The at-fault driver was traveling between 60 and 65 miles per hour at the time of the collision, making for a significant force of impact.
Our client suffered serious injuries to her cervical spine and ultimately required fusion surgery. Even as our client struggled to recover physically and emotionally from the crash, the insurance company was trying to argue that her injury was pre-existing. They argued she would have needed surgery even if the crash hadn’t happened. The thought that she would have to bear the financial burden of the crash was overwhelming for our client. It was true that she had a pre-existing injury to the same area of the cervical spine, but the wreck was what aggravated it to the level of needing surgery.
Our skilled car accident lawyers gathered extensive evidence to fight off the insurance company’s argument. Backed by thorough medical documentation and insightful consultations with experts, we were able to show exactly how the wreck made our client’s pre-existing injury much worse. In the end, we were able to obtain a significant $350,000 settlement for our client after filing a lawsuit against the insurer.
Do existing injuries matter when I’m in a collision?
Many people have old injuries or chronic conditions that they deal with. A serious car accident can aggravate these conditions and make them significantly worse. New injuries caused by the crash can make old injuries flare up with symptoms that you weren’t having before. When this happens, you should talk openly with your lawyer about how the crash is affecting your previous conditions. Crash victims deserve to be compensated for all the ways they have been affected by another driver’s negligence. This includes aggravation of old injuries.
How long can it take to receive a settlement?
A serious car accident can change your life in an instant. But getting a fair settlement can take some time. The amount of time it takes to reach a settlement will depend on your injuries and how long it takes to recover from them. Before agreeing to a settlement amount, it is important that you understand the full extent of losses related to your car accident injuries ─ both current and anticipated future losses. For example, you don’t want to rush to settle for an amount that covers your current bills and losses, only to realize later that you will need expensive surgery and follow-up care down the line.
Your attorney will also need time to investigate your crash and collect the evidence needed to prove fault. In addition, your attorney will have to be prepared to counter insurance company arguments over aspects of the claim such as pre-existing conditions. The entire process can take months or even years.
Although many car accident cases can be resolved with a settlement, this sometimes doesn’t happen until your attorney moves forward with filing a lawsuit. (This was the case for our client who was hurt in the rear-end crash on GA 400.)
If you have been hurt in a crash and need advice about your personal injury claim, please contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law. We can review your case for free and explain all your legal options.
For close to 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.