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Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Kentucky Personal Injury Cases?

January 8, 2022 By Flora Templeton Stuart

When an accident happens, it does not single out healthy victims and those with pre-existing conditions. It affects them all, though the extent of injuries may differ among the victims.

If you have a pre-existing health condition or injury, you may not be sure if you should disclose it or not. This could be because you may not know if your pre-existing condition affects your personal injury claim.

Read on as we explore the topic of the effect of pre-existing conditions on your Kentucky personal injury case. Let’s begin by considering why it’s important to disclose prior injuries.

What’s In This Guide:

Why It’s Important to Disclose Prior Injuries

If you have hired an attorney for your Kentucky personal injury case, you must be very honest about your health status before and after the accident.  Failing to disclose vital information may put your case at the risk of being dismissed.

If you had a pre-existing condition, the accident might have aggravated it. You may get compensation for the effects an accident has on your pre-existing condition. Use your medical records to support your claim for compensation for deteriorated pre-existing conditions.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Legal Theory

Under the Eggshell Plaintiff legal theory, also known as the Eggshell Skull rule, you are entitled to compensation for personal injuries even if you had pre-existing conditions at the time of the accident. The defendant is liable even if your pre-existing condition or injury made you more susceptible to injury.

The defendant must prove an accident was because of the victim’s negligence or pre-meditated intentions. The key is that the accident aggravated the injuries. In most accidents, the defendant is unaware of the victim’s pre-existing conditions unless the case is litigated.

Therefore, it becomes difficult to prove the condition caused the victim to be vulnerable or that the accident was foreseeable owing to the victim’s pre-existing condition, such as his poor mental health. In such a case, you can use a pre-existing condition to your advantage by claiming that the accident triggered its effects.

The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident that triggered or aggravated their pre-existing condition.  The Eggshell Plaintiff legal theory presupposes that the defendant’s actions have minimal effect on your pre-existing condition.

This makes it hard to prove that you need compensation for a deteriorating condition after your accident. You have to support your claim that the accident triggered or exacerbated your pre-existing illness with sufficient medical records, besides having an experienced attorney to argue your case before the jury.

The defendant may be held liable for all your damages if you prove he is at fault. However, if you fail to prove that his actions caused your condition to deteriorate, the jury may award you compensation for the injury but not for the worsening of your pre-existing illness or injury.

Disadvantages of Pre-Existing Conditions and Settlements

Back pain after car accidentPre-existing conditions can make you more prone to injuries or cause worse complications after an accident. You may have healed from the pre-existing condition but experience complications after a car crash or a fall.

For example, if you have Brittle Bone Syndrome, you may break your limb more often than a person who doesn’t have it. Your injuries may fail to heal if you are diabetic, increasing the complications you deal with after an accident.

The defendant or insurance company may want to use your pre-existing condition to deny you a settlement or reduce your recoveries drastically. You need clear medical records and a good lawyer to prove the defendant is liable for your injuries and plead for a high settlement.

How Clients Can Protect Their Injury Claims

It is frustrating to deal with any injury and worse if the person who caused it is working to deny you compensation. Here are the steps to follow to protect your injury claims:

  • Protect the Evidence

Your evidence will determine the outcome of your case. Preserve it in an organized file to enhance your chances of a favorable settlement.

  • Contact Your Attorney

In Kentucky, Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers may help you gather and preserve evidence, construct your statement, identify witnesses, and cross-examine them before the jury. They represent you in the courtroom to maximize your injury claim recoveries.

  • Seek Medical Help

Seeking medical care protects both your body and claim. To assist in our client’s recovery, we provide referrals to quality physicians for treatment. Even when you don’t feel any pain go for a checkup for any injuries that may take longer to manifest. Use your doctor’s report to strengthen your injury claim case.

  • Obtain a Police Report

A police report will be an excellent addition to your statement about the accident. Call the police to study the accident scene and make a report. The attorneys at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers will then obtain a copy of the report for use in your case.

  • Make Your Statement

After an accident, it is important to never make a statement about your case without speaking to an attorney. You may inadvertently harm your case or reduce the value of your claim. Our team handles all communication with the at-fault party and insurance representatives.

What Kind of Conditions Matter in Accident Claims?

Chronic conditions and past injuries are the most common pre-existing conditions considered in accident claims, such as degenerative arthritis. For instance, you may have broken a limb, and while at work, you fall and injure the same leg.

If the fall exacerbates the injury on your leg, you are liable for compensation. You are also eligible for a claim settlement if the fall resulted from your instability caused by your inability to use the injured leg properly.

You may have a chronic condition like degenerative disc disease. If you get into a car crash or fall, your back or neck may be injured, worsening the pre-existing condition. The at-fault party should compensate you for the injury and future complications the accident triggers on the pre-existing condition.

Speak to an Experienced Bowling Green Personal Injury Attorney

For your Kentucky personal injury case, reach out to Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers. With more than 46 years of experience, we know what it takes to win big compensations for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation on your Kentucky Personal Injury case.

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, established in 1976. Flora goes to work every day to make a difference in her community and the lives of her clients. When you call you will get a personal representation and an attorney who truly cares.