Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition
Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:
An aggravation of pre-existing condition case is a personal injury case in which a new injury or accident aggravates a pre-existing medical condition or injury. For example, if someone rear-ends you and the accident causes your back pain to flare up or worsen, that person may be liable for your injury.
However, there is a lot that goes into making a case for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition. When building a case, your lawyer will try to establish a baseline for where your pain stands pre and post-accident. This starts in the initial interview, where your Attorney will ask about previous medical issues and conditions in the injured area. You will need to let your lawyer know the last time you were treated for your condition or last met with a doctor concerning it. And always remember to be completely honest with your Attorney.
All of this information will help establish whether there is a difference in your pain before and after the accident, since X-rays and MRI’s don’t always show a visible difference. If your condition has gone from asymptomatic (pain free) to symptomatic (painful), or a lower back injury has extended to your mid-back, then you more than likely have a case for aggravation of pre-existing a condition.
Although similar, an aggravation of pre-existing conditions case is different from cases involving what’s called an eggshell plaintiff. In these cases, the plaintiff has so many pre-existing medical conditions that he or she is essentially a walking eggshell, and therefore more susceptible to injury.
We often see eggshell plaintiffs in cases where the defense argues that the impact of an accident or other injury was so minimal that it couldn’t have caused damage. Although a normal, healthy person might be fine in such minimal impact cases, the defendant is still responsible for the aggravation of an eggshell plaintiff’s pre-existing condition(s).
If you believe a medical condition or injury was aggravated in an accident, contact John Price Law Firm online or on the phone at (843) 552-6011.