Pre-Existing Conditions And Compensations
Sometimes when a person is involved in a car accident, the injuries suffered are not entirely new. People with existing medical conditions or injuries may find that a car accident can make these conditions and injuries worse. The problem when seeking compensation from the person who caused the injuries or from an insurance company becomes proving to what degree the accident aggravated the existing injuries. Ultimately however, it is not impossible to recover for injuries and even pain and suffering as a result of a car accident just because you have a pre-existing condition or injury.
A medical condition that existed before an accident is referred to as a pre-existing condition, while a similar injury is referred to as a pre-existing injury. Pre-existing conditions and injuries can affect the amount of recovery an injured person receives. For example, if a person falls and suffers injuries to his back and knees a year before being involved in a car accident, the pre-existing injuries would be considered in determining the level of compensation for the car accident.
Under Florida law, a person must take a person they injure as they find them. This is referred to as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. Therefore, if a person causes an accident with a person who happens to be more “fragile” than most other people, the former is still responsible for all injuries that can be attributed to the accident. It doesn’t matter that the victim’s injuries are more serious because of a pre-existing condition and therefore, the injured person incurs higher medical costs.
Showing a Pre-existing Condition or Injury
But how can anyone determine that an injury has been made worse, or aggravated, as a result of the accident? Medical records and testimony from doctors can help establish the level of medical treatment a person was receiving before and after the accident. If a person was almost at the end of their treatment before the car accident, but now full recovery is set back, it is likely that the car accident has aggravated the injuries. In conjunction with this medical evidence, evidence from the injured person’s social life can help in determining the extent of the injuries before and after the car accident. For example, if despite the pre-existing injuries a person was able to golf, take long walks, or engage in similar activities, yet they cannot engage in these same activities after the accident due to the new injuries, the injured person may be able to show the aggravation of his injuries.
While it may be up to the injured party to prove aggravation of a pre-existing condition, it is up to the insurance company or other defendant to show that the person has a pre-existing condition in the first place. In many cases, this may mean that the injured person has to undergo an independent analysis by the insurance company’s medical experts.
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney
If you were involved in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced automobile accident attorney for a consultation. You may have more options other than insurance to recover for your injuries and expenses. Consult the experienced Clearwater automobile accident attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A.