Claim For A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition

By Meg Stein. Last updated 21st January 2022. Have you been hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault? If so, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. Some people may question whether they can claim for a car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition. However, if you were in a car accident when you had a pre-existing injury/illness, then starting a claim may still be possible. But you must have suffered other new injuries or had your pre-existing condition made worse.

car accident aggravated pre-existing condition

Your case could prove more complex when pre-existing conditions are involved. However, if it can be proven that negligence from another party has aggravated your injuries or created new ones, you could still receive compensation.

In this guide, we’ll explain how you could make a claim following an accident caused by another party’s negligence.

Furthermore, we’ll explain what pre-existing conditions are and how a car accident could make them worse. We’ll also explain the ‘Eggshell Rule’ and how it may apply to these types of claims.

Also in this guide, we’ll talk about your potential options for claiming with an experienced personal injury solicitor. We will also explain time limits for personal injury claims.

Moreover, we’ll explore the compensation you could receive and how it’s often calculated.

However, if you have any additional questions after reading our guide, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We have included our contact details below.

Get In Touch With Our Team

You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on different kinds of personal injury claims. Additionally, if an advisor feels you have a valid claim, they could appoint a solicitor from our panel to represent your case.

For more information, use the following details to reach us:

  • Fill out our online claim form with your query
  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Chat with an advisor using the live chat box in the corner below

Select A Section To Find Out More About Claiming After A Car Accident Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition

  1. What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?
  2. What Pre-Existing Injuries Could Be Aggravated By A Car Accident?
  3. Applying The Eggshell Rule To A Pre-Existing Injury Claim
  4. I Was Injured In A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition, What Should I Do?
  5. I Didn’t Suffer Any New Injuries Can I Still Claim?
  6. Time Limits To Claim Following A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition
  7. Calculating Claims Following A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition
  8. Claim After A Car Accident Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition On A No Win No Fee Basis
  9. Contact Us For More Help Following A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition
  10. Related Resources On Road Traffic Accident Claims

What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition refers to any injury or chronic condition which you had before your accident occurred.

Pre-existing injuries could have been caused by an earlier accident in which you were involved. Certain chronic conditions could also exist due to ill health. Alternatively, you may have had a certain condition since you were born or at a young age.

Some people may be reluctant to claim for an accident if it affects a pre-existing condition. However, it is always worth at least considering a compensation claim if a pre-existing condition has been made worse by an accident that wasn’t your fault.

What Pre-Existing Injuries Could Be Aggravated By A Car Accident?

Road traffic accidents (RTAs) including car accidents can cause a wide range of different injuries. They are also capable of making many kinds of pre-existing injuries worse than before.

Below, we have provided examples of both the new injuries you could sustain and examples of pre-existing injuries made worse.

  • Neck injuries: You may have recently injured your neck in a slip, trip or fall accident. Following this, a car may have hit you from behind with force while you were waiting at a set of traffic lights. As a result, you may have sustained further damage to your neck due to the force of the accident.
  • Shoulder injuries: A driver may have failed to check their mirrors before overtaking on a narrow road causing you to sustain a dislocated shoulder.
  • Chronic pain conditions: You may have previously experienced a slipped disc that has caused you ongoing pain. Because of this, when you were involved in a car accident caused by a driver operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs, it may have caused you to experience more severe symptoms of your chronic pain condition.

Please note, these are only a few examples. If you have experienced a different type of car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition, call our team. An advisor can discuss your claim in more detail to help you understand whether you’re eligible to claim.

Applying The Eggshell Rule To A Pre-Existing Injury Claim

If you claim for a pre-existing injury that has been made worse by a liable party, then the ‘eggshell skull rule’ may be applied. It can help with holding a liable party to account when injuries are more severe than they would be under more normal circumstances.

Furthermore, it ensures that those with pre-existing conditions aren’t treated less favourably than someone without a pre-existing condition.

The rule may be applied to cases where the accident would normally only cause minor injuries, but more severe injuries occurred instead due to a victim’s pre-existing condition.

Therefore, when a car accident occurs, the liable party must accept responsibility for the injuries caused to the victim. Even if a pre-existing condition means they are more severe than the accident would normally make them, the correct compensation should still be paid for the injuries caused.

I Was Injured In A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition, What Should I Do?

If you were injured in a car accident, there are several factors you may wish to consider before putting forward your claim. Firstly, in order to hold a valid personal injury claim, you must be able to demonstrate that another road user acted negligently. For negligence to have occurred, your claim must meet three criteria:

  • Someone owed you a duty of care
  • They breached their duty of care
  • You were caused harm as a result

There are various pieces of evidence that could demonstrate these three criteria. For example, you could gather witness contact details, CCTV footage, dashcam footage, medical evidence and photos related to your injuries and accident.

After gathering evidence, you may then wish to get in touch with a solicitor who can support your claim. We recommend hiring a solicitor who has experience in handling car accident claims.

Our panel of solicitors have experience representing these types of claims and could guide you through all the steps needed to complete your claim. They can assist you with gathering evidence to prove another party was liable and build a strong case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

For more information, use the number above to get in touch with our team.

I Didn’t Suffer Any New Injuries Can I Still Claim?

If you are the victim of a car accident and no new injuries were caused, you could still potentially claim compensation.

For instance, you could claim damages unrelated to physical injuries. Personal property like your vehicle or other items could have been damaged in the car accident. In that case, you could possibly receive compensation that covers the cost of replacing or repairing these damaged possessions. However, this would not be classed as a personal injury claim. 

Alternatively, if the car accident you were in did not create new injuries but it aggravated any existing injuries or illnesses you have, then you may be able to start a claim for the harm caused. 

To succeed with such a claim, you will have to establish what pre-existing conditions you have and how it has become worse compared to before your accident. You will also need to prove who caused the accident you were in. You’ll also need evidence to establish a link between the accident and the worsening of your pre-existing issues.

We have explored the steps you can take to prove a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition in the section below.

How Could Medical Evidence Prove A Car Accident Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition?

It’s important to note that you will need evidence that any pre-existing health issues which have become worse were aggravated as a direct result of your car accident. There are various ways you can obtain this type of evidence, such as seeking medical attention as soon as possible after the accident has occurred.

A doctor can assess the effects the accident has had on you, advise on your recovery and ensure that your injuries are recorded. Some of the effects of the car accident may not be immediately obvious. For that reason, it’s worth seeing your GP or a medical practitioner if you feel unwell at a later date. 

Furthermore, as part of the claims process, you may be invited to a medical assessment that will be completed independently.

Such an assessment could help gather information about the full extent and nature of your injuries and whether they were aggravated by the car accident. The assessment is particularly helpful when claiming a while after the accident happened as it can highlight the long term impact your injuries may have had.

During the medical exam, the health expert may find that your pre-existing condition would have become worse over time regardless of the accident. Therefore, it may be found that the long term implications of an injury or illness you have were not caused by the car accident you were in.

Instead, it may be determined that the accident just accelerated the onset of any symptoms associated with your pre-existing condition. While a claim could still be made for the exacerbation of symptoms, the defendant may not be held fully responsible for the claimant’s health issue. 

If you have any further questions regarding medical evidence or other evidence you can gather in support of your claim, call our team.

Time Limits To Claim Following A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition

In most circumstances, there is a time limit for starting a personal injury claim for a car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition.

As per the Limitation Act 1980, a claim usually has to be started within three years of the date the incident happened. Sometimes, certain injuries or the aggravation of pre-existing conditions may not be immediately identified.

In these cases, you will have three years from the date you became aware that someone else’s failings caused or contributed to the worsening of your injuries. This is known as the date of knowledge.

However, there are certain exceptions such as for those under the age of 18 and those who may lack the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. For more information on whether any of these exceptions may apply to your case, please get in touch with our team.

Calculating Claims Following A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition

Are you wondering how much compensation you could receive for injuries following a car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition?

However, each settlement is valued on a case by case basis. As a result, they do vary depending on factors unique to your case, such as the severity of your injuries and how badly they affected your quality of life. 

Medical evidence may be used to determine the extent of your injuries. Alongside any evidence, the Judicial College guidelines (JCG) may be used to help value your claim. The JCG is a publication that provides example compensation figures for various injuries.

In the table below, we’ve included compensation brackets for certain injuries you may experience following a car accident. The figures come from the JCG.  

InjurySeverityCompensation
Neck Injury(a) Severe: (iii) An injury involving severe soft tissue damage with a ruptured tendon that led to a chronic condition.£42,680 to £52,540
Neck Injury(c) Minor: (ii) The person will have recovered fully from any injuries that were affected by short-term acceleration within a year. £2,300 to £4,080
Back Injury(b) Moderate: (ii) A soft tissue injury that has caused the exacerbation of a pre-existing back condition. £11,730 to £26,050
Back Injury(c) Minor: (i) A full recovery of any injuries affected by short-term acceleration is made without the need for surgery within 5 years.£7,410 to £11,730

Each claim often comprises general and special damages. General damages compensate you for any physical or psychological injuries. The table above provides an idea of some physical injuries and the figures that may be awarded under general damages.

Special damages cover financial losses directly incurred by any subsequent injuries sustained in the accident. Losses that you could seek reimbursement for under special damages might include loss of earnings, travel expenses and care costs.

If you have any questions about how your settlement may be calculated, please get in touch with our team.

Claim After A Car Accident Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition On A No Win No Fee Basis

A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your solicitor that provides several benefits, such as:

  • If your claim proves unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay solicitor fees.
  • There are no upfront costs required for your solicitor to begin working on your claim.
  • You can avoid paying ongoing costs that sometimes incur during the process of your claim, such as medical fees.

If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a small percentage from your compensation to cover the work they have carried out on your claim. The amount they can charge is capped by law.

Contact Us For More Help Following A Car Accident That Aggravated A Pre-Existing Condition

We hope you found our guide helpful. However, contact us for more information on claiming following a car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Additionally, an advisor can assess your claim to see if it has a chance of success. If it does, they could appoint a solicitor from our panel to represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

For more information regarding your personal injury claim, use the following details to get in touch:

  • Chat with an advisor using our online live chat service at the bottom of the page
  • Fill out your query using our claim online form
  • Call us on 020 3870 4868

Related Resources On Road Traffic Accident Claims

Looking for more advice on making a personal injury claim for a road traffic accident? You can check out our related guides below:

Visit our guide on how to claim as a pedestrian hit by a car.

Read our guide exploring the different methods of how to prove a car accident injury.

For more information on victim rights following a car accident, see our guide. 

If you were a cyclist hit by a car door, our guide could help you understand the steps you need to take.

Please see the government website for road accidents and safety statistics.

For more information on each road users responsibilities, see the Highway Code.

If you require any medical advice, please visit the NHS website.

Other useful guides:

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Thanks for reading our guide on how to claim compensation following a car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition.