You should consider yourself very lucky if you’ve never suffered an injury in your life. Some injuries may heal fairly quickly, whereas others may linger for years and flare up from time-to-time.
If you have a pre-existing condition, you might be wondering how it will affect your ability to recover compensation in a personal injury case. You can still recover compensation in a personal injury case if you suffer from a pre-existing condition.
However, the presence of this condition could make your case more complicated, which is why you will need to turn to an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney for help with your claim.
First, What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?
If you’ve never heard of the term “pre-existing condition,” it’s likely that you or your loved one don’t have one–because if you did, you would know. A pre-existing condition is a physical or mental condition that you had before you were involved in the accident related to your personal injury case.
For example, say you suffer a back injury while gardening. Years later, you are involved in a car accident and file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for the injuries sustained in this accident. In this case, your back injury would be a pre-existing condition since it occurred prior to the accident.
Can You Obtain Compensation For A Pre-Existing Condition?
You cannot obtain compensation for the pre-existing condition itself, however you can obtain compensation for the aggravation or worsening of the pre-existing condition.
For instance, say the back injury you sustained while gardening was not bothering you at the time of the accident. However, the car accident aggravates the injury, causing you a great deal of pain and discomfort.
Your condition has worsened to the point where your doctor no longer wants you to work while you recover. In this example, you are entitled to compensation for the back injury, but rather the aggravation of the back injury that occurred in the car accident.
It’s important that you are completely transparent with your attorney about your pre-existing conditions so that they can do everything in their power to make sure that you are fully compensated. Attempting to hide a pre-existing condition can only have a negative impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim.
What is Florida’s “Eggshell Plaintiff” Concept?
In the state of Florida, the person who commits the negligent act that injures another person is known as the defendant while the person who is injured is known as a plaintiff. The “eggshell plaintiff” law protects plaintiffs with pre-existing injuries in personal injury cases.
This concept is derived from an old story that describes the plaintiff as someone walking on the sidewalk underneath various apartment building balconies. If someone were to throw something out of one of those windows, the “normal” person’s head would not break.
However, if a person had an “eggshell head” or a previously compromised head, that person would suffer from further injuries–hence the term “eggshell plaintiff.” The person who threw said item out of the window would be held accountable for hurting the plaintiff even though they were not aware that the plaintiff suffered from a condition that put them at a greater risk of head injuries.
Why Is It Necessary to Hire an Attorney for a Personal Injury Claim That Involves a Pre-Existing Condition?
Taking on any injury case alone can feel overwhelming. After all, you already have to deal with the aftermath of suffering an injury. That may include making adjustments to your everyday life, losing income, and coping with the trauma of the accident. Relying on a personal injury attorney during a time like this can make the entire process less stressful for you and your family.
There are a number of benefits to hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your pre-existing injury claim, including:
Personal injury attorneys will battle the insurance companies that try to capitalize on pre-existing injuries.
With any injury claim, it should be stated that insurance companies usually do not work to give you what you truly need and deserve after an accident. Their main focus is saving their company money–not your mental, physical, or financial well-being.
Not only do they typically ask questions in a manner to get you to try to confess things that may discredit your injury case, but they will also put an emphasis on pre-existing conditions, making some injury victims feel powerless.
However, your attorney will ensure that the insurance company does not try to lower the value of your claim or deny it altogether due to a pre-existing injury. An experienced attorney knows how to go head-to-head with the insurance company in order to secure the compensation you deserve.
Injury lawyers will use hard evidence to strengthen your case.
It’s important to discuss your medical history and pre-existing conditions with your attorney. Your attorney will determine if the insurance company needs to know about your pre-existing condition.
If it is relevant to your case, your attorney will assist you with gathering evidence that proves that the accident aggravated or worsened your pre-existing condition. Then, your attorney will aggressively fight to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Seek Representation for Your Personal Injury Case in Tampa
If you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated in a recent accident, it’s your right to fight for compensation. You deserve to be compensated for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of this aggravation. Don’t take on this fight alone—let our personal injury attorneys help.