If you are injured in an accident, whether a motor vehicle mishap or slip and fall on the premises of another party and you have a pre-existing medical condition or injury, how do you ensure that you will receive the fairest amount of compensation for the injuries you allege were specifically caused by the accident? The defendant’s attorney and insurance company will most certainly examine any pre-existing injury or condition to determine whether there is any merit to the injuries you allege were caused by the defendant in the accident. This is the second part of an article addressing personal injury lawsuits and pre-existing injuries and conditions.
Plaintiffs with pre-existing conditions may still receive damage awards for later injuries. Based on the legal concept of the “soft-shell” plaintiff, defendants must take plaintiffs as they find them, which is the condition they were in at the time of the accident. If an accident victim is injured independently of the pre-existing condition or if the victim’s pre-existing condition was worsened by the accident, legal causation exists and it is proper for the plaintiff to recover. Injured parties and potential plaintiffs must undertake certain actions to maximize their recovery.
It is crucial to know when you last had the pre-existing condition treated. If you have a significant history of medical treatment for a particular part or area of the body, the potential settlement of your personal injury case may be reduced. If you were treated by a physician or therapist once a month for pain in the year before an accident, this may reduce the value of your claim. If you had an MRI one year before your accident and it showed a herniated disc in your back, and you are claiming that you have pain at the same area in your back where the damaged disc is located, your case may be more difficult to prove.
It is also important to note the time when you last complained of pain. If you recently complained of pain before an accident, it may make your case more problematic. If you complained of pain or discomfort in the same area of your body that you are alleging was injured in your current case, five years before the accident, then this alone shouldn’t significantly affect your case in a negative way. If you complained of pain only one week before the accident, this may be disadvantageous and affect the amount of any settlement offer.
The attorneys at H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. have the experience and competence to take every measure to protect your rights. Our office is located at 127 North Main Street in Statesboro, GA (30458). We proudly serve Bulloch County, as well as the surrounding counties of Chatham, Candler, Evans, Bryan, Effingham, Screven, and Jenkins. Contact our office by telephone at 912-764-9616, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check us out online at hlfranklin.com. We’re available to meet your legal needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM.