Medical issues are common as they tend to develop a number of times over our lifetimes. While some of these issues will come and go, others will develop over time, leading to long-lasting symptoms. Ultimately, you may have a condition that impacts your life in many ways.
That said, pre-existing conditions not only impact your health but also play a key role in your personal injury lawsuit. This often occurs when you are dealing with a personal injury lawsuit, and you are seeking damages in the form of compensation.
As such, it is common to wonder whether the pre-existing condition will be a barrier to your claim for compensation. This is because the defendant-in many cases- tends to point out that your pre-existing condition aggravated the injury; therefore, you aren’t entitled to damages. But this isn’t true!
Here’s what you should know.
Understanding Pre-existing Medical Conditions
A pre-existing condition -in relation to the law-is a medical condition that contributes significantly to the injuries you experience or a condition that may have made you vulnerable to injuries.
Therefore, when you file a personal injury claim, the court seeks to establish whether the pre-existing condition contributed significantly to the injury you incurred. However, this doesn’t mean that all the medical issues will be used against you. Instead, the court proceeds to establish a direct connection between the medical problem and the injury.
What is the relationship between Pre-existing Conditions and Damages?
Damages are often computed based on the expenses incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Therefore, the defendant is liable for any and every expense for the injuries after the accident. However, the defendant may seek to reduce the amount of damages by pointing to your pre-existing conditions.
This makes the severity of your condition the central issue of the case at the time of the accident. However, it is worth noting that any pre-existing condition doesn’t preclude the defendant from any liability.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to work with an attorney. Essentially, an attorney will help place the burden on the defendant to (1) show that your pre-existing condition was the actual cause of your injuries and (2) prove that the defendant’s conduct aggravated your condition.
Failure to prove this means that you have the upper hand in your claim.
The Eggshell Plaintiff
One of the fundamental doctrines that may help you in your personal injury lawsuit is the “eggshell plaintiff” doctrine. This doctrine provides that the defendant must take the plaintiff as they find them. Put briefly, this means that the defendant may be held responsible for all the injuries that were as a result of the accident, even if there are pre-existing conditions that made the plaintiff vulnerable.
Therefore, this doctrine offers sufficient protection in your personal injury lawsuit.
An accident can be devastating. Therefore, it is imperative to have a personal injury attorney by your side during this challenging period. In essence, an attorney can offer legal advice about the steps to take and at the same time help you navigate through the legal process towards a successful personal injury claim.
Contact us today for more help on your personal injury lawsuit.