If you are making a claim for any type of injury, you bring into issue your medical history of prior similar injuries or conditions. So, if you injured your neck or back, any past injuries to your neck or back become relevant. Any prior medical treatment to those parts of your body, or any prior complaints of pain to those parts of your body become relevant and must be disclosed to the defense in your case. Do you have to disclose your past relevant medical history in your case? The answer is absolutely YES!
What happens if you don’t? What happens if you do not tell your doctors about your relevent past medical history or if you deny your relevant past medical history in a deposition or at trial?
First of all, this is the greatest trap that insurance companies and defense attorneys have for the untruthful and the unwary claimant. If they can catch you in a lie about your past relevant medical history, its game over for your case. The chances are you will destroy your credibility and the credibility of your doctors that are tying to help you. Once your credibility is damaged and you are found to be untruthful about one aspect of your case, your will not be considered believable in any other area in your case. That means you will ruin your case. And, it is completely unnecessary because your relevant past medical history can actually help you prove your case. It can support and explain why and how the accident or event injured you and caused you to require more medical care. It can also support your credibility and your honesty and make a jury or insurance company willing to accept your truthful testimony about your claim.
Second, consider how it makes your doctor look if he testifies or writes a report stating that, in his expert opinion, the accident was the cause of your injuries and your need for medical care. When the doctor is asked if he knew that you have suffered from similar complaints of pain or injury before the accident, he will say no, he did not. Then when the doctor is asked if he would change his opinion if he knew about your prior conditions, he will certainly try to preserve his own credibility and say that it would change his opinion. Now your own doctor will turn on you and your case to preserve his own credibility.
Finally, an injury producing event may not be easily understood as the cause of your injuries and your need for medical care. However, having a prior condition or injury is likely to make you more easily injured or susceptible to injury. It helps explain why your injuries from the accident did not resolve earlier, why they were so painful and long lasting, and why you needed more medical care and suffered such significant impairment in your ability to work and perform your activities of daily living. So rather than deny your prior conditions, you must acknowledge them and allow them to support you and your doctors in your case.