Imagine you had a car accident and suffered leg injuries. Now, suppose you already had leg surgery because of a fracture. That fracture is what’s known as a pre-existing injury. Pre-existing injuries are underlying medical conditions before current accident injuries. Maryland car accident lawyers know how pre-existing injuries affect compensation claims.
Some insurance companies refuse to pay damages because of the plaintiff’s pre-existing conditions. They argue that such victims have no right to compensation. However, this isn’t true in Maryland. So, if you have a pre-existing condition, you’ll need an excellent Maryland car accident lawyer. Such an attorney can ensure you get the maximum compensation for the accident.
Can a Car Accident Worsen Existing Injuries?
Yes, sometimes, car crashes can worsen pre-existing conditions. Usually, this is the case where the victims already have an injury on the same body part. Such wounds could be from a work accident or sporting mishaps. Notably, the accident could impact a pre-existing condition by:
- Aggravating the injury such that you need further treatment. For example, you may need additional surgery.
- Worsening the pain in the body part where you were already injured. This increased pain can adversely affect your ability to perform everyday tasks.
What Should I Do About a Pre-Existing Injury?
Many accident plaintiffs are scared of disclosing their pre-existing injury. They fear that the fault party will refuse to pay their compensation. However, it’ll be best to admit that you have an underlying injury. Firstly, you have to tell your accident injury doctor. This is the only way they can adequately treat this new wound.
Furthermore, it’ll help to provide specific details of the injury. Try specifying your new injury symptoms. If possible, you can differentiate them from what you were experiencing with your older wound. Next, you need to inform your lawyer about the pre-existing condition. You should never leave your attorney in the dark on facts concerning your case.
Distinguishing Your Injuries
Hiding your pre-existing condition could be a sign of bad faith. Here, the insurance company would think you just want to get money off an old injury. So, upfront honesty helps your case. The next step would thus be distinguishing this new injury from the old one; this is where your injury doctor comes in.
If possible, it’ll be best to use the same doctor for both injuries. This physician is already well acquainted with your medical condition. Therefore, they’ll be able to point out the differences in both situations. Furthermore, they can easily show how the accident worsened or aggravated the injury.
Do You Have a Right to Compensation?
Yes, accident victims with pre-existing conditions still have a right to compensation. This is the position of the law in Maryland and many American states. So, no insurance company can legally deny your right to damages. However, it must be that the accident worsened the already existing condition.
In addition, it could be that the pre-existing condition merely worsened the effect of the accident. For example, a pre-existing condition can make you susceptible to specific injuries. It could also make such wounds worse when they happen. In such cases, the fault party will still be liable for damages. This is the import of the “Eggshell Skull” principle.
Explaining the Eggshell Skull Doctrine
The eggshell skull principle means that defendants must take plaintiffs as they see them. Thus, a defendant cannot escape liability because their actions wouldn’t have similar effects on ordinary people. This position is based on a legal principle developed in 1891. Furthermore, you can trace this doctrine to the case of Andrew Vosburg v. George.
Generally, this principle covers physical injuries from negligence. However, it’s noteworthy that this principle doesn’t require that the defendant improve the plaintiff’s condition. Instead, the fault party only has to return you to your condition before the accident. Therefore, suppose the pre-existing condition itself worsens. Here, the fault party has no responsibility to the plaintiff. This worsening must be as expected by that disease condition, though.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Can Get You Compensation
Have you survived a Maryland car accident? Do you already have an underlying medical condition? Even if you have such a condition, you can still recover compensation for your accident wounds. First, however, you’ll need the best Maryland car accident lawyers. Second, you’ll need an attorney that can withstand all the insurance company’s tactics.
Fortunately, you can get such lawyers at Pinder Plotkin, LLC. Our attorneys have significant experience dealing with insurance companies. So, we’ve mastered all their liability avoidance tactics. We’ve also won millions of dollars for our clients. Therefore, it’ll be best to call us today for a FREE consultation.