Is Degenerative Disc Disease a Pre-Existing Condition?

Is Degenerative Disc Disease a Pre-Existing Condition?

Pre-existing conditions carry a negative connotation when an accident occurs. Insurance companies often try to convince those suffering from pre-existing conditions that they are not eligible for compensation. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth. While you might be entitled to compensation if an accident makes your pre-existing condition worse, you could face difference challenges in your effort to recover on your claim.  

One pre-existing condition that could lead to a successful personal injury claim is degenerative disc disease. This condition is often worsened in a serious accident. When this occurs due to another person’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. A dedicated personal injury lawyer could help you obtain that compensation.  

What is degenerative disc disease? 

Degenerative disc disease is a serious condition that can impact your spine. Despite its name, it is more of a chronic injury than a true disease. This condition impacts the intervertebral discs of your spine and can lead to an array of function loss throughout your body.  

Degenerative disc disease often results in the lower back or upper neck pain. The amount of pain can vary, and it does not necessarily scale with the severity of the condition. A severe case of degenerative disc disease might not be immediately painful, for instance. In addition to pain, you can also experience tingling and numbness throughout the body. In severe cases, it can be debilitating.  

This condition occurs when the discs between vertebrae in the spine are stressed. These discs are designed to cushion the vertebrae and provide flexibility to the spine. Over time, these discs can degenerate and become malformed. Severe trauma, including injuries that occur in a car accident, can cause or worsen this condition.   

When insurance companies deny your claim due to a pre-existing condition 

Whether or not your degenerative disc disease pre-existed your accident can have a major impact on your personal injury claim. Insurance companies commonly claim that your injuries existed prior to an accident as opposed to occurring at the hands of their negligent insured. This is an important distinction. If your injury pre-existed the accident, you are not entitled to any compensation from the at-fault party.  

This is less of an issue with injuries that occur in an accident. With evidence of an injury that did not exist prior to the accident, it is fairly simple to establish that your injury occurred during the accident. However, if your injury existed beforehand it is not as simple to differentiate when your injury occurred. Seasoned personal injury lawyers can help you with this difficult challenge.  

Your attorney has multiple options in pushing back against the insurance companies. First, they can work with your doctors to establish your medical records prove your condition worsened due to the accident. This can be done by comparing your condition before the accident to your current condition.  

Another important way to establish that your injury has worsened is by showing how your every-day life has been impacted. This could include testimony from friends and family regarding how you can no longer take part in certain physical activities you were able to perform prior to the accident. This can include showing your inability to meet your own basic needs or take part in your favorite activities due to your worsened injury.  

How an experienced injury attorney could help 

Determining the right approach to taking on these insurance companies is part of the job of Los Angeles personal injury lawyers. Every case is different, and it is vital that your legal counsel builds your case based on the specifics of your pre-existing condition.  

At Ellis Injury Law, we have extensive experience advocating for those with pre-existing injuries. You may be entitled to compensation even if your previous injury was worsened. While these cases can be challenging, we are prepared to aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with Ellis Injury Law right away.