Being injured in an accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience, made even more complicated when pre-existing health conditions are involved. It can be challenging to determine the extent to which the accident worsened your pre-existing conditions, but it’s essential to know how they will impact your personal injury claim. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of pre-existing health conditions on personal injury claims and discuss what you can do to maximize your chances of success.
Understanding the Legal Concept of “Eggshell Plaintiff”
If you have pre-existing health conditions and sustain an injury in an accident, you might be categorized as an “eggshell plaintiff.” This legal concept recognizes that you were more susceptible to injury due to your pre-existing conditions, which might have been dormant or asymptomatic before the accident. In other words, the accident might have “cracked the eggshell” and led to more severe or chronic health issues.
How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Damages
When assessing personal injury claims involving pre-existing conditions, the court has to determine the extent to which the accident directly caused the additional harm or aggravated the pre-existing conditions. Suppose it’s established that the accident caused some or all of the injuries. In that case, the plaintiff is entitled to damages that might include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning capacity, pain and suffering, and disability. However, if it’s proven that the pre-existing conditions were the primary cause of the injuries, the damages might be reduced accordingly.
Providing Evidence to Prove Causation
Proving that the accident caused or worsened pre-existing conditions can be challenging but not impossible. Some of the evidence that could help your case includes medical records before and after the accident, expert witness testimony, and documentation of the consistent symptoms and their severity. You might also need to undergo independent medical examination (IME) to determine the extent of your pre-existing conditions and their relationship with the accident-related injuries.
The Role of Comparative Fault
In some states, comparative fault rules might apply in personal injury claims, meaning that the plaintiff’s compensation can be reduced if they were partially responsible for their injuries. If you have pre-existing health conditions that might have contributed to the injuries, the defendant might argue that you were partially at fault for the accident, and your damages should be reduced accordingly. It’s crucial to have a skilled and experienced attorney who can anticipate these defenses and argue on your behalf.
Seeking Help from a Personal Injury Attorney
Navigating the legal landscape of personal injury claims involving pre-existing health conditions can be complex and overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with physical and emotional pain. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights, collect and present evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and litigate your case if necessary. You’ll have the peace of mind to focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the legal complexities.
Have You Been Injured and Have Pre-existing Health Conditions? Call attorneys Kaiman & Crahan.
If you have pre-existing health conditions and suffered injuries in an accident, seeking legal advice and representation is crucial to protect your legal rights and maximize your compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal process, help you prove causation, and negotiate or litigate your case. While pre-existing conditions might complicate the matter, they don’t necessarily mean that you’re not entitled to damages for the accident-related injuries. With the help of an attorney, you can get the compensation you deserve and move forward with your life.