Car Accident Aggravated Pre-Existing Condition Settlement: What You Need to Know

car accident aggravated pre-existing condition settlement

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and have a pre-existing medical condition, navigating the legal landscape can be overwhelming. You might be wondering: What if a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition? How does this affect my personal injury claim? Will I still be able to receive fair compensation? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of car accident aggravated pre-existing condition settlements, helping you understand your rights and options.

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions

Before we delve into the specifics of car accident settlements, let’s first understand what pre-existing conditions are. A pre-existing condition refers to any health issue or injury that existed prior to the car accident. This could range from chronic conditions like arthritis or back pain to previous injuries such as a broken leg or whiplash from a prior accident. It’s essential to disclose any pre-existing conditions to medical professionals and your legal team following a car accident, as they can significantly impact your case.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine

In legal terms, the “eggshell plaintiff doctrine” comes into play when a victim’s pre-existing condition makes them more susceptible to injuries than an average person. Essentially, this doctrine holds the at-fault party liable for the full extent of the harm caused, regardless of the injured person’s fragile state.

The Critical Role of Medical Professionals

In cases involving car accidents and pre-existing conditions, the involvement of medical professionals is paramount. From diagnosing injuries to documenting treatment and providing expert testimony, medical professionals play a crucial role in establishing the link between the accident and the aggravation of pre-existing conditions. Let’s delve into the significance of medical professionals in these complex legal proceedings.

Liability and Pre-Existing Conditions

When it comes to personal injury claims involving pre-existing conditions, determining liability can be complex. Insurance companies may try to argue that the pre-existing condition, rather than the accident itself, caused the majority of the harm. However, under the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, the at-fault party is responsible for aggravating the existing condition and causing further harm.

What Matters with a Pre-Existing Injury—and What Doesn’t

When it comes to car accidents and pre-existing injuries, understanding what matters and what doesn’t can significantly impact your legal case and potential settlement. Here’s a breakdown of key considerations:

What Matters:

  1. Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition: The worsening of a previous injury due to the car accident is significant.

  2. Medical Documentation: Detailed medical history showing the pre-existing condition and its worsening post-accident are crucial.

  3. Causal Link: Establishing a clear connection between the accident and the aggravated condition is essential.

  4. Impact on Daily Life: The effect of the aggravated condition on daily activities, mobility, and treatment needs matters.

  5. Legal Representation: Having an experienced attorney to navigate your case and negotiate with insurance companies is important.

What Doesn’t Matter:

  1. Existence of Pre-Existing Condition: Simply having a pre-existing condition does not disqualify you from seeking compensation.

  2. Insurance Company Tactics: Attempts by insurers to minimize claims based on pre-existing conditions can be countered with proper evidence.

  3. Blame or Fault: Personal injury claims focus on holding the at-fault party accountable rather than assigning blame for pre-existing conditions.

How Prior Conditions Affect Personal Injury Lawsuits

Prior conditions can significantly affect personal injury lawsuits, particularly in cases where the individual has sustained new injuries or aggravations of existing conditions due to an accident. Here, we’ll explore how a prior injury come into play in personal injury lawsuits and what factors are considered in determining liability and compensation.

  1. Causation and the “But For” Test: Plaintiffs must demonstrate that, but for the defendant’s actions, their injuries would not have occurred.

  2. Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions: Defendants may argue that injuries were caused by pre-existing conditions, but if the accident worsened or aggravated these conditions, they can still be held liable.

  3. Proximate Cause: Courts consider whether the defendant’s actions were a significant factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries, regardless of pre-existing conditions.

  4. Foreseeability: Defendants may be held responsible if they could reasonably foresee that their actions might worsen a pre-existing condition.

  5. Comparative Negligence: In some cases, both parties may share fault, but plaintiffs can still seek compensation proportionate to the defendant’s responsibility.

  6. Medical Evidence and Expert Testimony: Medical records and expert opinions are crucial to establishing the link between the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries, especially regarding pre-existing conditions.

Will A Pre-Existing Condition Ruin My Car Accident Claim?

No, having a pre-existing condition won’t necessarily ruin your car accident claim. While it may complicate matters, you can still pursue compensation if you can demonstrate that the accident aggravated or worsened your condition, leading to additional injuries or damages.

Average Car Accident Aggravated Pre-Existing Condition Settlement

The typical settlement for a car accident involving aggravated pre-existing conditions generally ranges from $20,000 to $500,000 or more. The specific amount varies based on factors such as the nature of your pre-existing condition and its anticipated impact on your future well-being.

The settlement amount in cases involving car accidents and pre-existing conditions can vary widely depending on various factors such as the severity of the injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and the degree of negligence on the part of the at-fault party.

Why You Need an Attorney in Cases of Car Accidents Aggravating Pre-Existing Conditions

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and have a pre-existing condition, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance from a experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. An experienced lawyer can review your case, gather evidence, consult with medical professionals, and advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

  1. Legal Expertise: Attorneys provide invaluable legal knowledge and guidance, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the complex legal process.

  2. Investigation and Evidence Gathering: They conduct thorough investigations and gather evidence to support your claim, including medical records and witness statements.

  3. Understanding of Pre-Existing Conditions: Attorneys are well-versed in the complexities of pre-existing conditions and can establish a clear link between the accident and exacerbation of your condition.

  4. Negotiation Skills: They handle negotiations with insurance companies, using their skills to advocate for fair compensation and combat tactics aimed at minimizing or denying claims.

  5. Court Representation: If necessary, attorneys represent you in court, presenting your case before a judge and jury and managing all aspects of the litigation process.

car accident aggravated pre-existing condition settlement

Navigating a car crash aggravated pre-existing condition settlement can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By understanding the legal principles involved, recognizing the significance of the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, and seeking guidance from a reputable law firm, you can protect your rights and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Don’t let a pre-existing condition deter you from seeking justice, take action today to recover the damages you’re entitled to.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident that aggravated a pre-existing condition, don’t wait to seek legal guidance. The experienced attorneys at BLG are here to help you navigate the complexities of your case and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


Can a car accident aggravate degenerative disc disease?

Yes, a car accident can aggravate degenerative disc disease due to the sudden impact and force exerted on the spine, potentially worsening existing conditions or causing new injuries.

How does a pre-existing condition affect a personal injury claim?

A pre-existing condition can complicate a personal injury claim as it may be challenging to attribute specific damages solely to the accident. However, the claimant may still be eligible for compensation if the accident exacerbated the pre-existing condition or caused additional injuries.

What is an exacerbation of existing conditions?

An exacerbation of existing conditions refers to a worsening or deterioration of pre-existing health issues due to external factors such as injury, illness, or environmental triggers. In the context of personal injury claims, it may involve a worsening of symptoms or complications resulting from an accident or incident.

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