So you’ve just been involved in some kind of personal injury accident – a slip-and-fall, a motor vehicle accident (car, truck, motorcycle), or cycling accident. On top of dealing with paperwork, possible pain and the stress of the entire claims process, you may have pre-existing injuries which have been exacerbated by your changed circumstances.

No matter how big or small your injuries are, an accident can affect you in unexpected ways. Moreover, these changes may not be apparent or perceptible until well after the accident has occurred.

It is critical to disclose all pre-existing injuries to medical and legal professionals that you will deal with throughout the claims process. For obvious reasons, doctors and physiotherapists will need to know your medical history so they can effectively treat you. Lawyers on both sides of the dispute will request access to your medical history. This means that ICBC will gain access to your prior medical records.

Should you receive an award for damages, your pre-existing injuries will be taken into account. If your claim has merit, you will be compensated for the medical costs associated with the accident’s impact on your pre-existing injury. Importantly, your claim for recovery on pre-existing injuries is limited to the dollar amount associated with addressing the costs for treatment that you would not normally have had. In other words, any award for pre-existing injuries is restricted to the amount of new damage caused by an accident. In awarding damages, the court will attempt to put you in the same position that you were in before the car accident happened.

As always, receiving timely, competent medical and legal attention after your accident is crucial to maximizing the value of your claim.

Mike Coric is a personal injury lawyer who has represented victims of motor vehicle accidents throughout British Columbia for over 15 years. Mike has appeared at every level of Court in British Columbia and conducted trials before a judge and a jury. He acts only for plaintiffs and restricts his practice to BC car accidents and other personal injury circumstances. If you or someone you know has been injured and would like to speak with a lawyer, please call Mike at 604-736-3333.

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