Being injured in any type of accident can have an overwhelming impact on your life. Unfortunately, there are instances where victims already have illnesses and injuries at the time of their accidents. In some cases, these conditions are only made worse by the accident, resulting in the need for further medical care and a prolonged recovery.
Just because you had a pre-existing injury at the time of your accident does not mean that you are ineligible to recover fair compensation for new or exacerbated injuries that your accident caused. It is recommended to seek legal guidance from a skilled team of personal injury lawyers in West Palm Beach to ensure you can receive a timely and fair recovery.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition can include any medical ailment, health issue, or injury you had before the accident. These conditions can vary from a previous injury, such as a broken leg, to a more chronic issue, such as asthma or arthritis.
If you have a pre-existing condition and you are involved in an accident, there is a significant chance that the symptoms you experience can worsen. As a result, you may require further medical treatment or, in severe cases, be deemed permanently disabled.
While pre-existing conditions can complicate legal matters for victims, they do not specifically preclude individuals from recovering compensation. It is vital to have a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers in West Palm Beach by your side to defend your rights and help you get justice.
The Impact of Pre-Existing Conditions
Personal injury claims are extremely complex, to begin with. Those involving pre-existing conditions tend to be more complicated because the Florida injury lawyers representing the defendant will try to argue that the injuries and symptoms you experience following the accident are from the pre-existing condition and not the fault of their client.
The “Eggshell Skull” Doctrine in Florida
In Florida, the eggshell skull doctrine is often considered when dealing with cases involving victims who have pre-existing conditions. This theory states that reckless or negligent parties can be held liable to the full extent for any injuries to victims as a result of their actions, even if they suffered a degree of harm that was far worse than would have been suffered by the average person.
Under this theory, defendants cannot use a pre-existing medical condition of the victim as a defense. It also recognizes that not all parties harmed in accidents will experience pain in the same way and, therefore, a defendant cannot escape liability for the injuries or damages that a plaintiff suffered under these conditions.
As a result, the defendant can be held responsible for any resulting damages and adverse consequences, regardless of whether they may have been foreseeable based on the current conditions of the injured victim.
In these situations, evidence is crucial in helping you seek the maximum possible compensation for the injuries and damages that you sustained.
The Importance of Evidence
When pursuing legal action after your accident, you must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused your injuries or worsened your pre-existing conditions. To meet this burden of proof, having strong evidence becomes indispensable. Some of the evidence you may want to consider including in your personal injury claim should include:
Medical records about pre-existing conditions and new injuries or symptoms are extremely beneficial. Your medical records will highlight any care you have received for your pre-existing conditions and the status of the injury or illness during the last treatment.
Medical attention that you received immediately after your accident will provide an overview of any new injuries or worsening symptoms that you have. This type of evidence can strengthen your position and prove that, had you not been involved in the accident, you would not be dealing with the new injuries or symptoms.
In addition to medical records, expert testimony provided by your doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals who specialize in the relevant field can help further prove the connection between the accident and the exacerbation of pre-existing conditions. This evidence can help strengthen your case and further dispel any doubts regarding causation.
In addition to your medical records and expert testimony, you should keep visual evidence. Taking pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any progression of physical conditions post-accident can provide a visual narrative that supports your claim against the defendant.
Maintaining a consistent record of your pre-existing conditions and any new injuries or worsening symptoms is imperative. Accurate and complete record-keeping can help differentiate between your pre-existing conditions and any injuries you experienced due to the accident, making it much easier to attribute specific damages to the accident.
What Damages Can I Recover?
After proving liability, you can recover compensation for the damages that you face. In Florida, some of the damages you may be able to recover following your accident include:
- Lost Wages: If you were forced out of work to recover from your injuries, you can seek compensation for any lost damages you face.
- Medical Costs: You can recover compensation for your medical expenses following your accident. This can include immediate costs, long-term care expenses, medical devices, and more.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries negatively impact your ability to engage in activities, cause emotional distress, or negatively affect you, you can seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
- Property Damages: If you suffered any property damage, a personal injury claim can help you obtain the money you need to repair or replace it.
- Pain and Suffering: You can recover compensation based on the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused. This can include both physical and emotional suffering based on the type of injuries you incurred, the longevity of treatment, and various other factors.
- Loss of Consortium: If you have experienced any impact on familiar relations based on your injuries, such as loss of compassion and loss of parental guidance, then compensation for the loss of consortium may be recovered.
It is in your best interests to seek legal representation immediately to ensure you are in the best position to get justice after being harmed.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Florida Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in an accident and want to file a personal injury claim, our dedicated Florida injury lawyers at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. can help. For more than 25 years, our team has helped individuals in West Palm Beach protect their rights after being harmed in accidents due to the negligent actions of others.
Our team will help investigate your accident, gather strong evidence, and handle negotiations on your behalf. Get started on your case today by scheduling a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers in West Palm Beach.