What is the Impact of Pre Existing Injuries on Personal Injury Claims in SC?

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Most advice you will read on personal injury claims assumes that you were entirely healthy before your accident. Your claim can be complicated if you have a prior injury or medical condition. When the accident makes this injury worse or aggravates a condition you thought healed, you are still entitled to financial compensation. Nonetheless, these cases can be difficult. Reach out to the experienced Bluffton personal injury lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton for help when you need to do battle with the insurance company.

Causation and Personal Injury Cases

To be in a position to receive financial compensation, you need to prove that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of your injury. While much of the attention in a personal injury case is focused on whether the defendant acted unreasonably under the circumstances, you must also prove the causation element to receive compensation.

If you have suffered a personal injury with a prior medical condition, the insurance company will claim the policyholder’s actions were not the cause of your condition. Instead, they will argue that you were already hurt, and the accident had no effect on you. They may try to minimize the impact, claiming that most of your symptoms are related to your prior condition.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine in Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury law, there is a well-established idea called the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine. This theory states that you are entitled to full compensation for the harm that you suffered in an accident, regardless of what your condition was beforehand.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine operates from the premise that the responsible party should still be liable for the full extent of injuries that they caused, even if that individual was more susceptible or vulnerable for some reason. The common example when this doctrine is taught is a figurative plaintiff whose “skull was as thin as an eggshell—this doctrine means that “you take your victim as you find them.” The responsible party has no control over who they hurt; the only thing that they have control over is their actions, and they will be held responsible for all of the resulting consequences.

Pre-Existing Conditions That Can Be Aggravated

The most common pre-existing conditions that can be inflamed by a personal injury are problems with your neck and back. For example, you may have a history of back issues, including herniated discs. A sudden and sharp jolting of your body can aggravate a back condition that you may have thought was healed.

You may also have prior issues with a brain injury, such as concussions. As you suffer subsequent concussions, the effects can become far worse. You can be paid for how your particular brain injury has impacted you, regardless of what your health was like beforehand.

How Pre-Existing Injuries Affect Compensation

You are entitled to compensation for how your personal injury has worsened your prior condition. However, you are not paid for the pre-existing injury itself. It can be difficult to separate the two when estimating the value of damages in your case. You can be certain the insurance company is going to claim that you are asking to be paid for a pre-existing condition.

Legal Strategies for Handling Pre-Existing Conditions

Because you are filing an insurance claim or potentially dealing with a jury, you must make full disclosure of your prior health conditions. If you fail to disclose what your pre-existing conditions are, your claim could be compromised and you could be held accountable for this omission. You need to provide the appropriate information and let your attorney advocate for you.

You should provide your attorney with as much documentation as possible of your condition before they file the claim. Your lawyer needs to be prepared to work with the insurance company when they argue that their policyholder was not to blame for your injury.

Your medical records can be of help to you. If you are trying to show why your injury had such a grave effect on you, documentation of a prior condition can be persuasive. Disclosure and being upfront is important in your legal strategy.

How an Attorney Can Help Your Case

Cases involving pre-existing conditions are medically intensive. Your attorney would need to review your medical records in detail, often in consultation with an expert witness. They would need to explain your particular situation and be conversant in your medical issues, both in front of the insurance company and a jury. Your attorney’s job is to fight for you when the insurance company attempts to mischaracterize your medical condition.

If you and the insurance company cannot align in settlement negotiations, there are additional measures available to you. If the insurance company refuses to present an appropriate settlement, taking your case to court is always an option. The jury is the entity that can make the final determination.

Contact a Bluffton, SC, Personal Injury Lawyer Today

You need an attorney for every personal injury claim and not only the ones that could be difficult.

The attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton have a long track record of success, delivering results for injured clients like you. Let us work toward getting your results. You can schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers by sending us a message online or by calling us today at 843-379-5006.

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