I was in a car accident in Marlton, NJ and reinjured my back injury from several years ago. Can I still sue the driver who hit me even though I had a pre-existing back injury?

Philip Ciprietti, NJ Car & Truck Accident Lawyer

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In New Jersey, an injured driver can still sue a driver who caused the car accident even though he/she has a pre-existing medical condition, such as your previous back injury.  However, more information about your back injury and the type of car insurance you have are needed in order to properly answer your question.

New Jersey drivers and passengers who are injured in car accidents may be able to sue and recover financial compensation from an at-fault driver. However, what an injured car accident victim can recover depends on whether the individual selected “limitation on lawsuit” or “verbal threshold” on their car insurance policy, and if so, whether their injuries fall under certain categories defined by NJ car accident law (New Jersey Statutes Annotated 39:6A-8a).

In other words, if an injured NJ driver/passenger selected “verbal threshold/limitation on lawsuit,” they may be able to take the at-fault driver to court and recover pain and suffering damages, if and only if their injuries fall under certain statutory exceptions, such as: displaced fractures, significant disfigurement or scarring and permanent injury.

For more information on all of the injury exceptions, see New Jersey Car Accidents & Verbal Threshold – Can Injured Car Accident Victims Recover Damages? (Part 1)

In terms of your previous back injury, again, more information is needed to properly evaluate whether a car accident lawsuit is worth pursuing, such as:

  • when the previous back injury happened;
  • when the last time you were treated for the back injury;
  • what treatment you received for the back injury; and
  • whether you had any symptoms from the previous back injury at the time of the car accident.

All of these above factors are important because they help determine whether you have a viable car accident lawsuit.

For a car accident victim alleging that a pre-existing condition or injury was aggravated or reinjured, he/she must provide medical proof that compares the pre-existing injury to the new injuries sustained in the car accident.

In other words, a comparative analysis is needed to differentiate your medical condition before and after the car accident. If the last time you received treatment for your prior back injury was 5 years ago, and now you are receiving aggressive treatment for your back, then your medical records would be sufficient to differentiate your back injury before and after the accident.

Related: NJ Car Accident Law: Can You Recover Damages for Aggravation of a Pre-existing Condition?

Trying to determine what your legal rights are after a car accident in Marlton, New Jersey can be daunting.  If you would like to discuss your accident and concerns, feel free to call me to schedule a free, legal consultation.  800.281.8695

*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in New Jersey. This website page does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing Mr. Ciprietti does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.

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