Can I recover damages in a motorcycle accident if the crash aggravated an old injury?

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Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries as well as aggravate existing conditions. If you've recently been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver's negligence, Louisiana law allows you to recover your accident-related damages by filing a personal injury claim. Previous injuries aggravated by motorcycle accidents Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

How Pre-Existing Conditions Are Affected by a Motorcycle Accident

Many different types of injuries could be aggravated following a motorcycle accident. For example:

  • Arthritis in the knees might cause additional pain after a motorcycle accident.
  • Degenerative disc disease could make the spine more vulnerable to problems following a motorcycle accident.
  • A person with a history of migraine headaches might experience more intense headaches after the car accident due to injuries to the head and neck and the general stress of the incident.
  • Preexisting mental health difficulties might become more intense due to the trauma of the accident.
  • Someone previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia may have a flare of symptoms following an accident.

Generally speaking, older adults are more likely to have pre-existing conditions that are complicated by injuries from a motorcycle accident. However, pre-existing conditions can be a factor at any age.

Receiving Compensation for Changes to a Pre-Existing Condition

You are entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries, regardless of whether they are new injuries or pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by the accident. However, proving liability in this type of case can be complex.

In any personal injury claim, you must be able to establish four key elements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached this duty.
  • You suffered damages.
  • Your damages were caused by the accident and not attributed to another source.

Proving causation will be the most difficult part of your case. The other driver's insurance company will try to argue that your symptoms are a progression of your pre-existing condition and would have occurred regardless of the accident. If your condition was not relatively stable before the accident, this can cast doubt on the cause of your injuries.

Winning your case will require looking at your past medical history in detail. You will be asked about previous injuries, including when they first occurred, what your symptoms were, and what type of treatment you were receiving. Copies of X-rays and MRI and/or CT scans from before and after the accident may be used to establish how the crash affected your condition. Expert witnesses familiar with your condition may also be called to testify about how your prognosis was affected by the injuries you suffered in the motorcycle accident.

If you can establish all of the necessary elements of the case, you are entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses for injuries related to the accident, including emergency room care, surgery, physical therapy, and pain medication
  • Anticipated future medical care for an accident-treated disability
  • Lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
  • Anticipated loss of future earning potential caused by an accident-related disability
  • Pain and suffering

Louisiana law still allows you to collect compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced to reflect your own financial responsibility for your injuries.

Protecting Your Right to a Fair Recovery

Motorcyclists often face bias in their personal injury claims, including the perception that they are reckless with regard to their personal safety. To protect your right to a fair recovery, remember the following tips:

  • Seek a prompt medical evaluation, and inform your doctor of all symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Follow your doctor's orders precisely, including activity restrictions and all follow-up appointments.
  • Keep copies of all documentation of accident-related expenses.
  • Do not talk about the accident, including making statements on social media.
  • Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company without consulting your attorney.

Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Motorcycle Accident?

If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


William S. Neblett
Attorney William Neblett practices personal injury, maritme, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse law.