Pre-existing Conditions and Your Personal Injury Claim

April 20, 2019 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Pre-existing Conditions and Your Personal Injury Claim

How a Previous Injury Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Accidents have a way of happening at the worst possible time. There are few worse times to suffer a severe injury than after already suffering an injury. This misfortune befalls more people than most realize. Injuries make us especially susceptible to harm and those with pre-existing conditions can easily find themselves involved in serious accidents. These pre-existing conditions can worsen exponentially and cause significant damage to those that suffer additional injuries. When someone with a pre-existing condition suffers additional injury as a result of an accident they may choose to seek legal compensation for the injuries that they suffered if the accident was caused by someone else's negligence. An accident victim in this situation would likely file a personal injury claim in order to do this. Unlike a normal personal injury claim, one involving a plaintiff that has pre-existing conditions can run into all kinds of issues when it comes to holding those at fault liable.

Pre-Existing Issues Can Affect How Your Claim is Handled

With almost any personal injury claim, one of the first things that the insurance company will do is determine whether or not the plaintiff had any pre-existing conditions before the accident that caused their injuries. The primary reason they do this is to find an opportunity to try and minimize or outright deny a plaintiff's claim. Insurance companies may try to reason that a person's injuries were not actually caused by the accident and were instead just part of their pre-existing condition. If they can manage to do this successfully then they can minimize or even outright deny your claim to compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies are not your friend. They want to do everything in their power to turn a profit which means paying out as little as possible to personal injury claims.

Disclosing Pre-Existing Conditions

Honesty is a very important virtue when filing a personal injury claim. Not disclosing a pre-existing condition when filing a personal injury claim can prove to be a mistake. It is important to disclose relevant parts of your medical history such as pre-existing conditions since your new injuries will likely have at least some kind of interaction with them. Most of the time pre-existing conditions are made worse by new accident injuries but even in the event that they don't seem to have been aggravated you should come clean. As mentioned before, the insurance company is looking for any opportunity to discredit you and reduce the value of your claim. They are very experienced at handling claims and have the resources and knowledge to uncover pre-existing conditions when a plaintiff attempts to be deceptive. It is best to avoid this situation.

The Eggshell Skull or Eggshell Plaintiff Theory

When someone suffers an injury after having a pre-existing condition and the new injury aggravates or further complicates the pre-existing injury, then they are still entitled to compensation for their injuries. The eggshell plaintiff theory also known as the eggshell skull rule maintains that accident victims should not have pre-existing conditions used as a defense against the level of damage done to them via aggravation of that pre-existing condition. The theory is that if a man with a skull as soft as an eggshell is in an accident and suffers a blow to the head, the at-fault driver is fully responsible for the grievous amount of damage that they caused despite the unknown frailty of the eggshell skull man. Someone that has been severely injured because of someone else's negligence should not be discouraged from seeking compensation just because they had a pre-existing condition that made them especially vulnerable to harm. The eggshell skull rule ensures that those that are negligent are held responsible for the damage that they caused regardless of whatever pre-existing injuries or conditions that a victim had that made their injuries especially harmful.

Medical Documentation and Your Personal Injury Claim

When someone's pre-existing condition is aggravated by an accident injury, one of the most important things that can make or break an ensuing injury claim is medical documentation. Being able to validate your pre-existing conditions, accident injuries, and the relation between the two is imperative. Insurance companies will naturally try to mount a defense discrediting your injuries so detailed medical records are essential to prove that your claim is valid. This is why it is so important that you see a doctor as soon as possible following an accident. The longer you take to seek medical attention, the less credible your claim may appear.

Seek an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have sustained an injury as a result of a liable party's negligence, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers will sit down with you to listen to the details of your case and lay out some legal options that you can take. Don't leave your settlement in just anybody's hands. Consider Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to secure the settlement that you deserve while you focus on recuperating from your injuries. When you choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as your legal representation you are putting your case into the hands of lawyers experienced in getting you the compensation that you need. Our lawyers can help investigate the circumstances of your claim, secure evidence that can benefit your case, negotiate with the insurance company and guide you through the legal process. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will give you the personal attention you would expect from a smaller firm while delivering big firm results. For a free consultation on your claim you can contact us online or call (727) 451-6900 Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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