How Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect Your Accident Claim?

April 12, 2016

If you are injured in an accident and were already suffering from a medical condition or injuries from another accident, you may face an uphill fight in collecting for the current damages you sustained. Although you cannot receive compensation for your pre-existing conditions, you may be able to collect if your medical condition or injury was made worse. If you have a pre-existing condition, fighting to be rightfully compensated takes the special skill of experienced personal injury lawyers.

Do Not Hide Your Pre-Exisiting Condition
It is important to reveal your pre-existing injury or medical condition. If you try to hide it and it’s discovered, your credibility will suffer and your entire claim for damages may be questioned.

If You Have a Pre-Existing Injury or Medical Condition, You May Be Referred to as An “Eggshell Plaintiff
Defendants will sometimes claim you were not injured in the accident they caused but instead are suffering only from your pre-existing condition. The term “eggshell plaintiff” is based on the law which states defendants are responsible for injuries that occur based on the condition of the plaintiff at the time of the accident. One example frequently referenced is if a person would likely not have been injured in the accident, but happens to be a hemophiliac who bleeds extensively and may even die, the negligent person is still responsible for those injuries.

It doesn’t matter if the defendant alleges you would not have been hurt if you had not had the pre-existing condition. You had it and your condition was worsened, so the defendant is liable for your worsened condition. This aspect of the law can be helpful to an insurance adjuster or a jury who may question how a minor accident resulted in such serious injuries.

Evidence that will Support your Claim
A medical expert that compares your past medical records with current ones will be able to testify to the extent your pre-existing condition was worsened by the accident. Previous levels of pain can be compared with the amount of pain you are currently suffering. X-rays from years past can be compared with ones taken following the accident. You may have gone months or years without needing treatment. After the accident, treatment has resumed. This evidence will support your current claim for medical costs and collection for your other damages, like lost wages, rehabilitation and pain and suffering.

If you were injured in an accident that caused your pre-existing medical condition to worsen, or you are concerned the negligent person who caused your injury will claim your injury existed before the accident, you need the assistance of an experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney. Contact Campbell and Associates, Attorneys at Law, for a free consultation.

Campbell & Associates is one of Charlotte’s premier trial practice law firms representing victims seeking compensation due to the negligence of another. The firm also has offices in Hickory, Gastonia, Monroe, and Rock Hill, South Carolina. The firm concentrates its practice on Plaintiff’s personal injury, representing people and their families damaged by injury and wrongful death cases arising from serious motor vehicle collisions, medical negligence, construction accidents and work place environments. For more information visit