So you had an obvious injury and want to settle or have a trial – what could be the problem. A later accident or injury may be a defense for the workers compensation carrier or at-fault party to allow them to avoid paying for your damages. Legally, this defense is usually called the “superceding intervening cause” defense. In other words, the defendant says that the subsequent or later accident breaks the direct connection between the cause of the original injury and the current injury which may relieve the defendant of liability for the injury – they claim the problem is now all from the second injury or the two cannot be separated. Even if you say the second accident did not cause more injury, the defendant will claim that it did especially if you received any medical treatment.
The best way to avoid this defense is not to have a later accident or injury. While your workers compensation claim or auto accident claim is pending do not attempt to ride horses, motorcycles, bikes, 4-wheelers, play sports, skate, bowl, ski, hike, etc. Even if you are not hurt attempting these activities, the defendant will use it against you by claiming that you cannot be injured and do the above. Of course, there can be exceptions and not all seriouse injuries would prevent all these activities, but if you want to attempt one, you should discuss it with your attorney first. Be safe.