What To Do With An Injury Case Involving A Pre-Existing Issue?
Pre-existing conditions create lots of challenges for personal injury lawyers and their clients. Someone might have broken their wrist on the job a couple of years ago only to suffer a similar wrist injury in a slip-and-fall accident at a store, for example. What do you do when you have a pre-existing injury but believe there's also a new problem? A personal injury attorney will want their clients to do these five things.
Your best allies are going to be detailed medical records. Ideally, you have copies of the medical reports related to the previous condition. Particularly, you want to have follow-up scans that show the state of the injury toward the end of the rehab process. If the pre-existing injury involved bone fractures, for example, you want to have scans that show where the breaks were and how they healed.
Connecting the new accident to new injuries may require separating the data about the pre-existing ones from the new ones. A medical expert can attest to how there's evidence of new damage in the affected area. They also can frequently perform scans and exams to determine how things changed following the most recent accident.
A personal injury lawyer will also want to connect the sequence of events from the accident to the new injuries. In the previous example of a slip-and-fall injury, witnesses might have seen you try to brace yourself as you fell. This kind of testimony can make it easier for your attorney and the experts to draw a line between the most recent accident and the most recent injuries.
Similarly, evidence that differentiates the two incidents is also helpful. Your lawyer might demand video evidence in discovery, for example. They can then show a medical expert the video, and the expert can attest that you would've suffered the new damage even if you hadn't had a pre-existing injury.
Fragile Egg Syndrome
One of the core theories of American law is what some scholars call the fragile egg syndrome. The theory refers to the idea that we take victims as they are. Defendants don't have legal room to say that a victim's medical shortcomings make them less liable for damages.
Suppose someone who has a form of brittle bone syndrome suffers an accident. Defendants have to live in a world where they might be liable even if some people are frailer than others. Pre-existing injuries are similar.
Reach out to a personal injury law firm like Cartee & Lloyd Attorneys At Law to learn more.