What Happens When A Car Crash Aggravates A Pre-Existing Injury?

It’s uncommon to go through life without any injuries or health problems. Maybe it’s as minor as straining your low back while working in the garage or something that leads to a permanent disability, the odds are at some point you’ve needed medical attention and treatment for some type of issue.  If you have a pre-existing condition and you’re in an accident you might wonder what will happens if the accident aggravates that injury.

Imagine you have a previous neck injury and you’re involved in a rear-end accident. As a result of the crash you go from being able to go about life with minimal pain or restrictions to suddenly needing surgery. Can the at-fault driver be held responsible for this injury? Typically, someone hurt in a car crash cannot recover for existing injuries unless you can prove the accident was responsible. In situations like this you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

A pre-existing condition is defined as any injury, illness, or condition a person had before getting into an accident and can include both physical and mental health conditions. Some of the most common pre-existing conditions include degenerative disc disease, arthritis, asthma, depression, migraines or headaches, anxiety all the way to diabetes and even cancer. These are usually documented through medical records. 

In a personal injury situation the defendant learns about these pre-existing conditions during what we call the discovery process.  This is when each side exchanges information about the case. The defendant’s insurance company will request medical records from the plaintiff/injured party. While it sounds tempting to hide any pre-existing condition this can damage your case. In most cases the at-fault party will be financially responsible for the injuries that you suffered in an accident. This includes injuries that are only as bad as they are because you had a pre-existing condition.

Any accident victim who has an existing injury or a pre-existing condition may be referred to as an “eggshell plaintiff.” These individuals are often more fragile or susceptible to injury than people without existing injuries or conditions. In California, being an eggshell plaintiff does not bar you from recovering financially for your injuries. California recognizes what’s known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. This holds that defendants in a personal injury case must take the plaintiff as they find them. The defendant cannot argue they aren’t liable for injuries that may not have happened if the plaintiff did not have a pre-existing condition.

Having an existing injury or condition doesn’t mean you can’t recover for your injuries after a car crash. You are entitled to compensation for the full extent of your injuries that were caused by the crash.

We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others.  At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $140,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. We help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We would be honored to represent you!

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The committed team at Guenard & Bozarth has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for families devastated by debilitating injuries, wrongful deaths and shameful insurance company tactics.

  • The committed team at Guenard & Bozarth has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for families devastated by debilitating injuries, wrongful deaths and shameful insurance company tactics.

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