News & Resources
Pre-Existing Conditions Do Not Prevent Damage Recovery in a Car Accident
Hire a Skilled Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, then you may be curious — or even feeling a bit concerned — about whether you are entitled to sue and recover damages. You may be particularly curious about how your pre-existing medical conditions/injuries will influence a potential lawsuit.
Personal injury disputes (such as car accident disputes) are not always straightforward. The case may be made somewhat more complicated due to various issues, including the presence of pre-existing conditions.
Let’s take a closer look.
Causation is a Fundamental Issue
Causation is a necessary element for establishing liability in a car accident dispute. To successfully impose liability on the defendant, you have to show that their negligent (or intentional) acts caused you to suffer the claimed losses.
Pre-existing conditions can complicate this. The defendant may attempt to argue that they did not cause any of the injury-related losses you suffered, as you were already suffering from a pre-existing condition.
For example, if you had a pre-existing neck injury (and stiffness/pain associated with that), then the defendant may attempt to argue that any stiffness/pain you claim after the accident is caused by the pre-existing condition — not the accident. In doing so, they are attempting to avoid the imposition of liability altogether.
Plaintiffs can circumvent this argument by presenting comprehensive medical records and physician testimony describing the differences between the pre-existing condition (and its symptoms) and the new injuries. A sufficiently distinct injury can lead to a recovery.
Pre-Existing Conditions May Be Exacerbated
Pre-existing conditions may not prevent recovery, however, if you can show that the condition itself was exacerbated (worsened or otherwise enhanced) by the accident. Under such circumstances, you would be entitled to recover damages associated with the exacerbated condition.
For example, suppose that you injure your back in a car accident. You had a pre-existing back injury that limited your mobility somewhat. After the accident, however, your mobility issues were exacerbated to the point where you can no longer work. As such, you may claim damages for the wage loss (and loss of future earning capacity) — as these were not limitations that you suffered before the accident.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer at Alley, Clark & Greiwe for Legal Assistance
Here at Alley, Clark & Greiwe, our attorneys have decades of experience working with injured plaintiffs in a range of litigation, including car accident disputes. We pride ourselves on our client-centered approach to legal representation — we engage closely with our clients from the very beginning of a case, ensuring that we have gained the insight necessary to advocate on their behalf more effectively.