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Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky
Contributor •

I had pain in my neck prior to my auto accident, will this make a difference in my case?

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Possibly. By and large, a person who is found to be negligent can only by held responsible for the pain that he or she caused. Therefore, you would have to prove that there was negligence and that the negligence was responsible for your current injury, or at least a portion thereof.

Although, if you are able to prove that the accident made the injury significantly worse, you will be able to collect for the degree to which your condition has worsened. Furthermore, if you had a previous neck injury and are more vulnerable to injury and the new accident causes the pain to come back–or it aggravates an old injury, then you will be able to recover for your injuries as if this were a new set of injuries. This is commonly referred to as the "eggshell plaintiff" rule, which means that even if the victim is susceptible to injury, whoever is found responsible for the accident is responsible for the damages, no matter how severe or unforeseeable the damages might be.

Regardless, you should consult with a personal injury attorney and medical providers to be certain that everyone has a clear understanding of how much of your neck pain the accident was responsible for. That way, you will have the best chance of getting paid for the value of any injuries.