More than half of all adults in the United States have at least one chronic disease, and 40 percent have two or more. As such, it’s not uncommon for a personal injury victim to have a preexisting medical condition.
If you intend to bring a personal injury claim, you may be wondering how your preexisting condition might influence the proceedings. Generally speaking, personal injury claimants are not entitled to compensation for injuries or illnesses that were unaffected by the tort; however, they may be entitled to compensation for the aggravation or exacerbation of a preexisting condition.
In other words, if the liable party’s conduct worsened an existing illness or aggravated an old injury, you may be able to hold them accountable for the resulting damages. Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster might still dispute causation by asserting that you are trying to obtain compensation for damages you would have incurred even if the accident had not happened. Your attorney can try to counter this defense using your medical records and perhaps the deposition of medical experts.
What Is the Eggshell Plaintiff Theory?
If the opposing party disputes liability by asserting that the tort would not have hurt a reasonably healthy adult, and there was no way to know that you weren’t in perfect health, your legal team may apply the “eggshell plaintiff” theory. The theory is if a man whose skull happens to be as soft as an eggshell suffers head trauma, he is no less entitled to compensation than a man whose skull is perfectly normal.
Even if the party that caused the trauma was unaware of how frail the victim was, this doesn’t release them from liability. As such, the defendant could still be held responsible for all resulting damages.
Accident victims with preexisting conditions are often hesitant to take action because they anticipate a lot of pushback from the insurer. But even if you had a preexisting condition, you should still speak with an attorney in a free consultation since you might still be entitled to compensation.
Do I Have to Disclose My Preexisting Condition?
You should absolutely disclose any preexisting conditions to your attorney as soon as possible. As for sharing them with the opposing party, though, the best time and place will depend on the circumstances.
Your legal team will evaluate the facts of the case and identify the degree to which your conditions were exacerbated or aggravated. Based on their findings, they will then determine how and when to disclose your preexisting conditions to mitigate the impact they have on your case.
Call 516-280-4716 to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in Long Island
If you were seriously hurt through the fault of another party, contact WeitzPascale to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We use first-rate experts, cutting-edge technology, and proven legal strategies to fight for the compensation our clients deserve. Call 516-280-4716 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Long Island.