Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz explains how you can have a prior injury but the pain or symptoms of that injury are worse by a car accident it may be a legitimate personal injury case.

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to take a viewer question from Tanisha in Wicomico County, Maryland. Tanisha wrote in and she said, I was actively seeing a doctor and going to physical therapy for my neck pain. I then got in a car accident where I was rear-ended which made my neck pain much worse. Can you still have a personal injury case even if you had this injury before the car accident?

I think it’s a wonderful question, a lot of people over the years have asked me the same question. How can I have a case if I was injured before the accident, and then I get in the accident, and the injury from the accident is to the same body part? The answer is Yes, you absolutely still can have a case. The question is what new injury, what new symptoms or how much worse did the accident make this injury as compared to the way it was before. In most cases, this is going to come down to a question for the doctor who’s treating you.

So, the doctor has been seeing you for your neck. The doctor has done an x-ray, maybe the doctor did an MRI of your neck and has referred you to chiropractic or physical therapy or what have you. Then you get in the car accident. You have whiplash to that neck and the pain is worse. Well, one thing the doctor is going to ask you is, what was the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 before the accident? And what is the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 after the accident? Maybe the doctor will rerun those x-rays or MRIs and look and see if there is new objective evidence on the imaging studies of some new injury. Or if there is some objective evidence on those imaging studies of a worsening of that prior condition.  These are things that are up to the doctor to evaluate. These are things that are going to be up to the doctor to testify about but if you are injured in an accident and your old injury has now been made worse, that is most likely a legitimate basis for a personal injury claim.

So, Tanisha thank you very much for writing in. Folks if you are out there and watching videos on the internet and you think, I have a question that I would like Ben to answer, send me an email. My email address is

Thanks for watching!