While most personal injury claims concern new injuries, people are a complex mix of past experiences, genetics, and injuries. Therefore, if they are involved in an accident, they may suffer an injury to a part of the body already affected by a previous injury. Just because a person had an injury before does not mean that the defendant is able to escape all liability. However, it usually means that the case will be more complicated and further warrant the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Disclosing Past Injuries
Some personal injury victims are afraid that the insurance company will deny their claim if they reveal a previous injury. However, this tactic can often backfire because the insurance company may be able to obtain your medical records and discover pre-existing injuries. If the insurance company finds an injury you have not disclosed, they may accuse you of withholding information. Therefore, it is usually best to disclose pre-existing injuries that are associated with your new injury.
Proving a Pre-Existing Injury
If you have a pre-existing injury, you can generally file a claim to pursue compensation for a new injury to the same part of the body if the accident aggravated your previous injury, made your condition worse, or caused new symptoms.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you prove your pre-existing injury and that the accident made your injury worse. Your lawyer can help gather evidence of the worsening of your condition, such as:
- Medical records – Your lawyer can gather medical records that show how the most recent injury contributed to or exacerbated your pre-existing injury. This is why it is critical to discuss your symptoms thoroughly with your doctor and differentiate your symptoms or the seriousness of your pain after the accident.
- Employment records – Your employment records may indicate that you missed work because of your new injury. If you worked after the initial injury but were unable to return to work in light of the new injury, your lawyer can highlight this significant difference when pursuing fair compensation for your claim.
- Expert witness testimony – Your lawyer may have to call your doctor or another medical expert as a witness to testify about your injury before and after the latest accident.
What Is the “Eggshell” Theory?
Under this rule, a person is taken as they are without speculating on what could have happened had the victim not been more susceptible to injury than other potential victims. The term eggshell refers to a potential plaintiff with a skull as thin as an eggshell. If he is injured in an accident, he will probably suffer a more severe head trauma than someone with a normal skull. However, this characteristic does not excuse the defendant from paying for their negligence.
How Stewart Law Offices Can Help
If you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other personal injury incident, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer from Stewart Law Offices can help. We have represented clients for decades, which has given us the skill and resources necessary to fight for your fair compensation. Contact us today to take advantage of a free case review to discuss your legal options.