Collecting Compensation for the Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injuries
While many people who are injured in accidents have a clean bill of health before their slip and fall accident or car crash, it is also not uncommon for victims to be suffering from an illness or medical condition before their accident occurs. When this happens, many victims suffer new injuries as well as aggravations to already existing problems, both of which can be painful and expensive to treat. Unfortunately, many insurers attempt to avoid compensating victims for the latter, claiming that they should only be held liable for any newly sustained injuries. This leaves victims in danger of being swamped by medical bills and buried beneath a mountain of debt. For this reason, it is particularly important for those who suffered an aggravation to a preexisting injury in a recent accident, to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, who can ensure that their rights and interests are protected.
The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine
After accidents, in which a person suffers an aggravation of a preexisting injury, it is not uncommon for insurers to try and use this medical history as a way to avoid liability. However, this is made much more difficult by the application of the eggshell plaintiff doctrine.
The eggshell plaintiff rule governs liability in situations where a person suffering from an ailment or injury is then involved in an accident, as a result of which, his or her illness or injury worsens. According to this doctrine, the victim’s susceptibility to injury is irrelevant when it comes to assigning liability, as individuals must be held responsible for any damage caused by their negligent behavior. This is true even if the degree of damage suffered by the victim is more than would be suffered by the average person.
Examples of Pre-Existing Conditions
Although the eggshell plaintiff doctrine is commonly associated with skull injuries, the reality is that any type of injury or illness could fall under this legal theory. Car accidents, in particular, are especially notorious for causing the worsening of certain types of injuries, including:
- Herniated discs;
- Lower back strains;
- Broken bones;
- Degenerative disc disease;
- Arthritis; and
- Knee and shoulder injuries.
When the trauma of a sudden impact causes a victim who is suffering from one of these conditions to experience a worsening of symptoms, the at-fault party could still be held liable for related medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Us Today
Cases involving an aggravation of a preexisting injury tend to be especially difficult to resolve, even when applying the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, so if you were involved in an accident and experienced a worsening of a prior injury or medical condition, you need the advice of a dedicated personal injury attorney who can help you hold the at-fault party responsible. To speak with an experienced lawyer about your own case and legal options, please call Boone & Davis in Fort Lauderdale at 954-566-9919 today. And remember, initial consultations are conducted free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online!