How Prior Injuries Can Affect a New Car Accident Claim
Can you imagine having surgery for a fractured leg after falling off the stairs or playing a sport and then being hit by a negligent driver only a month after your surgery and aggravating your already injured leg? While this scenario is not very common, it does and can occur. If this happens to you, a pre-existing or prior injury will come into play when filing your car accident claim.
What Exactly is a Pre-Existing Injury?
Pre-existing injuries are injuries or medical conditions that people already have before getting injured in a car crash. Common examples include:
- Medical conditions due to stress, including seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), asthma, etc.
- Injuries that are currently healing or failed to heal properly, such as neck, spine, joint, and head injuries
- Congenital abnormalities, including heart defects, clubfoot, spina bifida, and brain injuries, among others
- Injuries suffered in a previous slip and fall accident, motor vehicle crash, workplace accident, or another type of accident
How Can a Pre-Existing Injury Impact a Georgia Car Accident Claim?
Georgia follows the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, which holds that the party who caused an accident would be fully liable for the injuries and related losses suffered by the injured party, even if they were particularly vulnerable to injury. It does not matter if you were in perfect health prior to the car accident or had some level of a prior injury when the accident happened as long as the at fault driver’s negligence caused your injury.
Based on the eggshell plaintiff rule, in claims involving prior injuries that have been exacerbated, reactivated, or aggravated by a car crash, the injured party should be compensated for all the injuries in these circumstances:
- The injured party’s prior injury was under control and reasonably stable.
- The injured party’s condition was not expected to worsen before they got injured in the crash.
To illustrate, let’s say you got hurt in a crash where your right leg was crushed, and you just had surgery on that right leg a month or two ago. Based on the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, all the medical bills and related losses you incurred must be compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
Another crucial thing to note is that you shouldn’t hide your prior injury from the liable party’s insurer, but you should disclose it through your Forsyth County car accident attorney to avoid hurting your claim. Among the most common tricks insurers use to dispute similar claims is arguing that the injured party’s injury is pre-existing so that they can make a low settlement offer or outright deny the claim.
Get In Touch With a Top Forsyth County Car Accident Attorney Now
Contact Banks, Stubbs & McFarland today by completing our online form or calling our office at 770-887-1209 to discuss the specific circumstances of your claim. Our Forsyth County car accident attorneys know how to effectively communicate with insurance providers and their lawyers regarding pre-existing conditions or injuries to fairly and accurately relay vital medical information while safeguarding your privacy and best interests and, ultimately, secure the highest possible compensation for you.