What Happens In A Personal Injury Lawsuit When Pre-Existing Conditions Worsen

A major part of personal injury lawsuits claims for any type of physical injury caused due to an accident. An accident may be a fall from slipping, a motor vehicle crash, or a supposed negligent act.  Lawyers of the plaintiff often find it challenging to distinguish between injuries caused by an accident and injuries from an existing medical condition. However, it is crucial to overcome this stage and ensure that the case prevails.

The age of the plaintiff and medical history is important here. It is only usual for people to have pre-existing medical conditions or some injuries from beforehand. Sometimes, even a previous trauma, such as an automobile accident, or some injury at work, may leave scars. At other times, people may develop conditions due to aging, such as degenerative discs or osteoporosis.

How Attorneys Assist

Defense attorneys, as well as insurance companies, often argue about the injury and its history. The possibility is that the subject of the accident is not the cause of the injury in this case. Instead, they may also take up a notion debating that the plaintiff is in the same state as he/she was before the accident. In these matters, it is prudent to hire an experienced lawyer. The Walthew Law Firm is a perfect example.

Insurance companies commonly hire medical examiners for an opinion on these issues. These medical practitioners have biases depending on the defense-oriented positions to preserve the causation of an accidental injury. However, they may still pose as a hindrance to winning the settlement.

 If the subject in the lawsuit is a cause of re-injury in a similar or same way or prior complaints were made, it is called “exacerbation of a pre-existing injury” or “aggravation of a pre-existing condition.”

This essentially explains that a prior condition existed but it worsened after the accident. If this is established, the victim remains eligible for compensation for the aggravation.

Aggravation of Pre-existing Condition – The Clause

This clause is often seen in lawsuits involving traumatic brain or head injuries, neck injuries, and back injuries. For instance, if the subject had herniated disc before an accident, and he was functioning with mild pain from time to time but he could perform his daily activities and work. However, because of the accident, herniated disc worsened and now symptoms developed. The same person now needs immediate surgery, as the herniation is severe and typically disabling.

Medical observation and testimony are needed to prove the exacerbation or aggravation of the pre-existing condition. Usually, the plaintiff’s surgeon or physician provides the testimony. On some occasions, however, on certain occasions, the plaintiff may hire a physician to provide proof and testimony on the issue.

Most states are specific about the instructions addressing aggravation of a pre-existing condition. However, the jury must detect the responsible defendant for the situation if they fail to isolate the pre-existing condition and the claimed condition in the lawsuit.

Finally, the jury acts as the fact-finder of any injury causation lawsuit. If the jury detects the accident worsened a pre-existing or underlying condition, it can grant damages for economic as well as non-economic losses.

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