Preexisting Medical Conditions Worsened by Accidents
Some accident victims find themselves in the unfortunate situation of sustaining an injury when they are already injured or unhealthy. It can feel like you are being kicked when you are down. They may think that because they were already injured prior to the accident that they cannot recover at all. This is not true. We have helped many personal injury clients with preexisting conditions be compensated for injuries from accidents where they were not at fault.
California Law on Preexisting Conditions
Under California law, an accident victim may recover to the full extent that his or her condition has worsened as a result of an accident. This is what is known as “taking a victim as you find him.” It is not a defense to say that a healthier person would not have had as many injuries. California Civil Jury Instruction 3927 states that an accident victim:
". . .is not entitled to damages for any physical or emotional condition that [the accident victim] had before [the] conduct occurred. However, if [the accident victim] had a physical or emotional condition that was made worse by [the] wrongful conduct, [the jury] must award damages that will reasonably and fairly compensate [the accident victim] for the effect on that condition."
Examples of Preexisting Conditions
Back problems are a common injury that can be made worse by an accident. For example, if you have a back problem and fall down due to a condition such as a slick surface, your back problems will likely intensify.
If you come to our firm for legal representation, we will have you examined by a doctor. The doctor will also look at your prior medical records. The doctor will then be able to explain to a jury what injuries you had before the accident and what injuries were caused by the accident. You could then be compensated for the injuries that are attributable to the accident.
This is a term used to describe accident victims who have a condition or disease that makes them more prone to injury. For example, someone with osteoporosis will break a bone easier. The fact that someone has such a condition cannot be used to reduce a damage award.
Contact a San Jose, CA Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have a pre-existing condition or are an eggshell plaintiff, you still have a right to recover for injuries sustained due to an accident that was not your fault. It is true, however, that these cases can be harder to prove. This means you should seek the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer. Such a lawyer will know how to stand up to the insurance companies who may bring your health situation into negotiations. An experienced personal injury attorney will also be able to put you in touch with an expert doctor who can ascertain the injuries attributable to your accident. Contact the experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys at Jachimowicz Pointer, Attorneys at Law, Inc. by calling 408-246-5500 for a free case evaluation.
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