Injuries sustained in a car accident can be life-altering. However, if you have a history of previous injuries, it can complicate the process of your claim. Navigating these complexities requires a deep understanding of how past injury history impacts your car accident claim.
Existing Injuries Can Affect Damages Calculation
The principle of ‘damages’ in an automobile accident claim is to restore the injured party to the position they would have been if the accident had not occurred. This means compensating for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. However, if you had a pre-existing condition, insurance companies might argue that your current injuries are, in part, due to that condition, and thus, they are not wholly responsible for the full range of damages.
The “Eggshell Plaintiff” Doctrine
Despite the challenges that pre-existing conditions present, there is a legal doctrine known as the ‘eggshell plaintiff’ rule. This rule states that a defendant must take the plaintiff “as they find them.” In other words, if a car accident exacerbates a previous injury, the at-fault party can’t escape liability simply because the victim was more susceptible to injury.
Disclosure Of Previous Injuries
Transparency about your past injuries is crucial. Failing to disclose them could harm your claim, as it may be perceived as an attempt to misrepresent the nature of your accident injuries. Always provide your attorney and doctors with a comprehensive history of any previous conditions or injuries.
Seeking Legal Advice
If you have a past injury history and have been involved in a car accident, it is advisable to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring that you receive fair compensation, despite your pre-existing conditions. They can effectively argue that the accident worsened your condition or created new injuries.
While a prior injury history can complicate your car accident claim, it does not negate your right to compensation. With the right knowledge and legal representation, you can navigate this complexity and ensure that your rights are upheld.