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Can A Prior Waldorf, Maryland, Auto Accident Impact My Current Auto Accident Claim?

There are two broad legal issues here: a prior accident’s impact on potential damages and on legal liability for the current accident. Regarding the former, if you were injured in a prior Maryland car accident, that might have a potential impact on your current claim. Regarding liability, prior accidents are generally not allowed to be used as evidence of current legal liability. That is, prior accidents are generally not allowed as evidence of fault. If you have been injured in a Southern Maryland auto accident, contact us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Our number is (301) 870-1200. We are proven and top-tier Maryland car and auto accident attorneys providing legal services for Charles County, Prince George’s County, Calvert County, St. Mary’s County and other nearby communities. Here is more about how a prior accident can affect a current auto accident claim.

Prior injuries

Prior injuries suffered in a prior accident can have an impact on damages related to a current auto accident claim. However, this depends on several factors. These include:

  • How long since the prior accident — if the prior accident happened many years ago, the impact will be minimal
  • Nature of injuries suffered in each accident — if the injuries are different and to different bodily systems/areas, then there should be no impact
  • Whether the victim is still recovering — or has obtained full recovery — from any prior injury

In basic terms, the issue with injuries from a prior accident is whether there is a pre-existing medical condition that can be identified. Insurance companies and at-fault drivers will use a pre-existing medical condition to argue that less money is due as compensation for an injury caused by a more recent accident. And, indeed, that is the law in Maryland. A victim cannot recover for a pre-existing condition but only for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition. For example, if the victim of a Waldorf car accident already had damage to his or her spine, then the victim can only recover compensation for the aggravation of that spinal cord condition.

On the other hand, if the prior accident caused injuries unrelated to the current injuries, then the prior accident will have no impact. This is because the injuries are not related. For example, if the prior injury caused a back injury, but the current injury caused a broken leg, the prior accident will have no impact.

Legal liability

In Maryland, there are rules of evidence that prevent the use of certain types of evidence when an auto accident case is heard in civil courts. One such rule limits the use of prior acts as evidence of current fault or liability. This is because the law does not want a jury to decide current liability based on what happened in the past. Thus, because of the rules of evidence, a prior accident will have no impact on your current accident case with respect to determining who is at fault.

Contact Waldorf, MD Personal Injury Attorney Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer at (301) 870-1200. We are Waldorf, MD, Personal Injury lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.