When it comes to a personal injury accident — like a car accident — one can experience a variety of injuries. This can include the very common whiplash injury, head injuries, knee trauma, herniated disc, internal bleeding and much more. But what if one has a pre-existing condition and gets into an accident? These are illnesses or conditions that a person has had before the incident occured. Common pre-existing conditions include arthritis, constant migraines, degenerative disc disease, and other mental-based pre-existing conditions like depression. These conditions can go from bad to worse after being exacerbated by the event of a car accident or other major act of negligence. A migraine that is already constant and painful can become even more frequent, and that much more painful when the right catalyst has been entered into the equation. If a person’s negligence has contributed to your pain and suffering, shouldn’t they be held liable for it?
No one ever wants to be in an accident, especially when the accident just makes an already bad situation worse. The hard part is proving it. When you try to prove that the defendant contributed to your pain and suffering by worsening your pre-existing condition, the opposing party will try to use the existence of the condition to deny your claim or minimize it to say that it was the condition itself that was already contributing to your pain and not the plaintiff. Despite this, plaintiffs should always be honest and disclose all pre-existing conditions. The best way to do this is with medical records. If the condition is discovered later rather than sooner, the opposing party will try to use the secrecy to discredit your claim and you might get a hefty fine sanctioned by a judge to boot for not bringing it to light. The Eggshell Skull rule, however, protects victims of accidents from having a pre-existing condition used against them to minimize their damages. So to speak, if a man with a skull as thin as an eggshell got hit in the head, the individual who hit him is liable for all the damages inflicted even if he or she didn’t know how fragile his skull was. With this in mind, the challenge for your attorney is proving that the defendant both caused an injury and exacerbated the pre-existing condition. This is while defending against any denial of damage claims by the opposing party saying that the damage claimed was not caused by the defendant, but a product of the already pre-existing condition.