How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Personal Injury Claims
Nov. 7, 2022
Under New Jersey laws, individuals involved in any kind of accident may be entitled to seek fair financial compensation for their injuries and damages, notwithstanding the liable party. However, having a pre-existing health problem can affect the amount of compensation the claimant may be entitled to. A practiced New Jersey personal injury attorney can explain how your pre-existing medical conditions can affect the outcome of your personal injury claims.
The Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. intends to assist, direct, and represent clients with existing health problems in their injury claims. Attorney Mitchell Friedman can assess the elements of your specific circumstances, advocate for your best interests, and help pursue the maximum possible compensation for your injuries and damages. The firm is proud to serve clients across West Orange, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, and the rest of Hudson County, New Jersey.
What Is a "Pre-Existing Medical Condition?"
A pre-existing medical condition is an underlying health problem (physical or mental) – such as an injury, disease, or medical illness – which existed before the victim suffered another injury in the accident. Recent statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that approximately 133 million non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing medical condition. Here are some common examples of pre-existing health problems:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
High blood pressure
Chronic back pain
Back and neck conditions from bad posture
If you were hurt in an accident while you have a pre-existing medical condition, you need to get in touch with a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer immediately. Your legal counsel can assess all of the facts of your unique circumstances and enlighten you about how your existing health problems affect your injury claims.
How Do They Affect a Personal Injury Claim?
New Jersey is a "no-fault" auto insurance state. According to the system, each party's insurance coverage (PIP policy) will pay for their medical costs, lost income, and other essential services related to the accident up to the policy limit, regardless of who was at fault.
Generally, individuals who are hurt in an accident are eligible to seek compensation, even if they had a pre-existing medical problem before the incident. In cases where the victim wants to opt out of the no-fault system and pursue claims against the at-fault party, they may need to prove negligence.
In other to prove negligence and establish liability, you must show – in addition to other elements of liability – that your pre-existing medical condition was completely manageable before the accident, but the incident aggravated or worsened your condition.
In the event that you're successful with your accident claims, the insurer or at-fault party will pay financial compensation for your pre-existing condition as well as new injuries and damages caused by the accident. An experienced attorney can fight compassionately for your legal rights and enlighten you about how the eggshell doctrine affects your case.
The "Eggshell Skull Plaintiff" Rule
The "eggshell skull plaintiff" rule is a legal concept that applies to all personal injury cases involving plaintiffs who have pre-existing medical problems or injuries. According to the principle, a defendant is responsible for all damages and reactions of the plaintiff stemming from their negligent, careless, or wrongful actions – even without any knowledge of the victim's existing medical condition.
Additionally, the eggshell plaintiff rule affects both the defendants and claimants in a personal injury case. Thus, plaintiffs may be classified into two, depending on the surrounding circumstances. These include:
Eggshell skull plaintiff – someone who is vulnerable to injury or harm due to their fragile health condition.
Plaintiffs who have pre-existing medical problems or injuries.
A well-informed attorney can analyze every detail of your personal situation and help file your personal injury claim within the required time limit.
Compassionate Legal Support
Being involved in any form of an accident when you have an underlying health problem can be emotional and overwhelming. Though, you may be entitled to recover damages to the extent to which the injury or accident has aggravated your pre-existing medical condition. However, you will need to provide various pieces of evidence to prove your case. Therefore, hiring a seasoned personal injury attorney can help protect your legal rights and help you pursue your rightful financial compensation.
Attorney Mitchell Friedman has the skill, resources, and diligence to advocate for the best interests of clients in their accident cases. As your legal team, he can establish that the at-fault party's negligent actions caused or deteriorated your condition. Using his vast knowledge, he will direct you through the claims process and help you seek the financial justice you deserve.
Don't let a pre-existing medical condition discourage you from seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact The Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. today to arrange a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The firm is proud to serve clients across West Orange, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, and the rest of Hudson County, New Jersey.