If You've Been Injured Before
Why it’s important to distinguish between new and old injuries
Real estate agents have the mantra, “location, location, location.” If you have a pre-existing medical problem and then suffer an on-the-job injury or an auto accident, your mantra should be “distinguish, distinguish, distinguish.”
It is critical to advise your doctor about earlier injuries to the same part of the body and at the same time to distinguish and clarify the differences between the earlier and later injury. You could explain, for example, that the earlier injury cleared up entirely, that the earlier injury only periodically bothered you until the recent re-injury, or that the new injury has caused pain not only in the old injury area but has radiated to other areas.
Defense doctors tend to say that the earlier injury is at fault for any current complaints of pain, rather than the work injury or automobile injury. Any distinctions that you can make will clarify your medical history and can only help your case.