I may have some bad news for you. Are you sitting down for this? You probably have a condition called degenerative disc disease. Fortunately, you’re not alone. See, pretty much everyone has degenerative disc disease. This condition simply means that your spinal column is degenerating, which is just a fancy way of saying that, as you age, your body is breaking down, which is another way of saying that you’re not a human being and not a robot.
So why does this matter? Well, degenerative disc disease is something you’ll hear a lot from insurance adjustors whose goal it is to minimize how much money accident victims should be compensated. “The pain wasn’t the result of the car wreck. Mr. or Mrs. Smith had degenerative disc disease.”
What insurance adjustors ignore, either because they don’t know or because they’re trying to cheat victims, is that Alabama law does not care if you have degenerative disc disease. It does not matter. Say that you’re involved in a car wreck and injure your back. The MRI results use that magic phrase that insurance adjustors love: degenerative disc disease. Before the wreck, though, you were not in back pain. Just because your back may not be in as good a condition as it was when you were 16-years old, does that mean that you shouldn’t be compensated for your pain? Of course not.
Under Alabama law, an accident victim, even one that has a pre-existing “condition,” (I put the term condition in quotation marks since it’s hard to call something a condition that pretty much everyone else has as well.) is entitled to be compensated for the medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. he or she has suffered as a result of the incident. So, if you never had any back pain and then all of a sudden are in a car wreck and start suffering from back pain, it’s pretty obvious that the wreck caused the back pain and the medical bills to treat that pain. In other words, had the wreck not happened, you would not have been in pain. Thus, the other driver’s insurance company is obligated to compensate you for your pain, and the fact that you’re a human being and not a robot does not change this fact.