When an accident occurs, the immediate concern is often the physical injuries that result. However, for individuals with pre-existing conditions, an accident can lead to a complex legal situation. This article delves into the intricacies of how Georgia law handles cases where a car accident makes a pre-existing condition worse.
A Closer Look at Pre-Existing Conditions
A “pre-existing condition” is a term used to describe any injury, illness, or medical condition that an individual had prior to the accident. These conditions could range from chronic illnesses like asthma or diabetes to physical injuries such as a previous fracture or a recurring back problem.
In the realm of personal injury law, these conditions gain significant importance when they are intensified or worsened by an accident. The question then arises: How does this affect your personal injury claim?
The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine: A Key Legal Principle
Georgia law applies a principle known as the Eggshell Skull Doctrine in cases where an accident aggravates a pre-existing condition. This doctrine essentially states that you “take your victim as you find them.” In other words, if you are responsible for an accident, you cannot escape liability simply because the victim had a pre-existing condition that made them more susceptible to injury.
This implies that if your existing ailment was worsened or further intensified due to the accident, it could be considered as part of your personal injury claim. The defendant cannot argue that they should not be held fully responsible for your injuries simply because you were already injured or ill before the accident.
Honesty Is the Best Policy: Disclosing Your Pre-Existing Conditions
When pursuing a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to be completely honest and upfront about any pre-existing conditions. This is because insurance companies have access to medical claims index bureaus that track all of your medical records and all the accident, disability, and worker’s compensation claims you’ve ever had.
Suppose you fail to disclose these conditions and try to pretend these things never happened. In that case, the insurance company will use its own information to argue that your new injury is just a continuation of your old injury. This could significantly undermine your claim and potentially lead to accusations of fraud.
Proving Your Case: The Role of Medical Records and Legal Assistance
Demonstrating that your pre-existing condition was worsened by an accident can be a complex task. However, thorough medical documentation from both prior to and following the accident can assist in validating further injury, and consequently, your claim should be recognized.
Medical records can provide clear evidence of the state of your health before and after the accident. They can show whether there has been a significant change in your condition following the accident.
Having assistance from a lawyer with experience handling pre-existing condition claims can mean a much better chance of winning your case. They can help gather necessary evidence, navigate complex legal principles like the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine, and effectively negotiate with insurance companies.
Call Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Today!
Having a pre-existing condition does not prevent you from seeking compensation after a car accident in Georgia. The key is to understand how Georgia’s laws apply to your case and to work with experienced legal counsel who can guide you through the process.
With the right approach and legal support, you can successfully navigate the complexities of personal injury law and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact the Weinstein Firm at 770-HELP-NOW for your free case review.