Some people are under the mistaken notion that preexisting injuries might preclude them from recovering damages in an auto accident claim against a negligent driver. Truth is, a preexisting injury may have no impact on a claim, or may even lead to higher compensation, since the accident may result in more severe consequences than it otherwise would have due to the preexisting condition (something known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule).
Insurance companies should not have to pay for injuries that already existed prior to an accident. What’s fair is fair. But they do have to pay for the damages they make worse.
The key to solving this conundrum is to determine what injuries were caused by the accident; what preexisting conditions were made worse by the accident; and what preexisting injuries were unaffected by the accident. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced auto accident attorney.
An auto accident attorney will gather your medical information; explain why a preexisting condition should have no impact on the calculation of damages; or demonstrate how the accident led to greater harm due to the preexisting condition.
Written by: Christopher C Seufert, Esquire