How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Personal Injury Claims

Several Americans suffer from underlying health challenges. Statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that between 50 and 129 million non-elderly Americans have some kind of pre-existing health condition. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent party, your pre-existing medical conditions might affect the amount of compensation you may be eligible to recover. A skilled Nebraska personal injury attorney can review your unique situation and help you understand how pre-existing medical conditions may affect your personal injury claims.

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we have the experience, expertise, and resources to assist, guide, and represent individuals with pre-existing health conditions in their personal injury claims. Our trusted team can evaluate and investigate every last detail of your unique circumstances and explore your available options to seek damages. Our firm is proud to serve clients in Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding counties, including Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, and Lancaster County.

What are "Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?"

A pre-existing medical condition is an underlying health issue – medical illness, injury, or disease – that existed prior to suffering another injury in an accident. Some common examples of pre-existing health conditions include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Chronic back pain
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Depression
  • Extreme obesity
  • COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

If you were involved in a negligent accident while having a pre-existing medical condition, you need to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Your lawyer can evaluate your unique situation and help you understand the effect of your existing health condition on your personal injury claim.

How Do Pre-Existing Conditions
Affect a Personal Injury Claim?

Nebraska is an at-fault auto insurance state. Under the state's fault system, the party who caused the accident or injury will pay for the medical expenses, property damages, and other losses suffered by the injured victims. However, since you have an existing injury or chronic health condition, your situation might be quite complex.

In order to seek fair compensation, you must show that the negligent, careless, or wrongful actions of the at-fault party caused, have deteriorated, or are currently affecting your pre-existing medical condition or injuries. If you are successful with your injury claims, the insurance carrier will pay for the damages caused by the accident and compensate you for any pre-existing condition.

The "Eggshell Skull Plaintiff" Rule

The "eggshell skull plaintiff" rule is a legal theory that applies to personal injury cases that involve claimants with pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. According to the principle, "a defendant is liable for the unforeseeable and uncommon reactions of the plaintiff to the defendant's negligent actions."

In a personal injury case, both plaintiffs and defendants are affected by the eggshell plaintiff rule. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, claimants may be classified into:

  • Plaintiffs with pre-existing health conditions or injuries
  • Eggshell skull plaintiff – a person who is vulnerable to harm or injury as a result of their health condition.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate all of the surrounding facts of your case and determine the best way to proceed with your injury claim.

Legal Advocacy You Can Trust

Getting injured in a negligent accident can be overwhelming and unsettling. Unfortunately, having pre-existing medical conditions can make pursuing your personal injury claims even more difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, you are still within your rights to seek fair compensation of the magnitude at which the accident or injury has deteriorated your existing condition.

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., our attorney has devoted their career to handling personal injury cases and advocating for the rights of accident victims in their injury claims. As your legal counsel, we will evaluate every aspect of your case and seek to establish that the defendant's negligent actions caused or worsened your condition. Using their extensive experience, our trusted team will fight vigorously to protect your best interests and attempt to pursue the financial justice you deserve for what you've suffered.

If you have suffered another injury while having a pre-existing health issue, you may recover damages. Contact Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. today to schedule a simple case evaluation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Our trusted team has the detailed advocacy and vigorous representation you need in your personal injury case. We proudly represent clients in Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding counties, including Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, and Lancaster County.


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