In any type of personal injury case, you need proof that (1) the defendant’s negligence harmed you and (2) the harm caused you to suffer compensable damages. The latter of these two is called causation. When it comes to the element of causation, some cases may require more proof than others. If you come into court with a medical history that includes pre-existing conditions, especially a history of injury to the same part of your body that was hurt in your auto accident, your opponent will inevitably argue that the harm you are currently dealing with is not the result of your accident, but rather the result of your pre-existing condition. To make sure you don’t get snared by this “pre-existing condition” trap, you need clear proof that your overall well-being, while not perfect, clearly was far better before the accident and became markedly worse immediately after the accident and as a result of the accident. To make sure you have the evidence you need to accomplish these ends, be sure you have a skilled California injury attorney representing you.
D.C.’s case (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2016-00874301) was one that included this type of issue related to causation. D.C., a senior chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy, was visiting family in southern California when his rear-end accident occurred. According to the petty officer, he was driving near Anaheim when traffic slowed ahead of him. He slowed too, but the vehicle behind him hit his rental car on the left rear side. The rear driver allegedly was going about 20-30 mph when the vehicles collided.
Before the accident, the petty officer allegedly had already experienced some problems with his back. Many years before, the petty officer had suffered a traumatic injury to his back and that had left him with ongoing back pain, which existed at manageable levels. According to the petty officer, his ongoing degree of limitation from the injury was so small that the military had cleared him for full duty and he had served in a forward position in Afghanistan just one year before the accident. That assignment included wearing a heavy helmet and toting gear that weighed 50+ pounds, according to the petty officer.