The Effect of Pre-Existing Conditions on a Florida Car Accident Settlement
Florida car accident victims with pre-existing injuries might have an extra hurdle to consider when filing a negligence claim for an auto crash. Insurers could blame victims’ pain or discomfort for a prior injury or illness to avoid paying victims fair compensation.
Injured parties can hire a Florida personal injury attorney to determine the impact of pre-existing injuries on a Florida car accident claim.
A Pre-Existing Injury Does Not Prevent You From Demanding Compensation
A pre-existing condition is a physical or medical condition a person has before suffering additional injury. A pre-existing condition can be:
- A chronic illness, such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure)
- A mental health disorder, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Undiagnosed illnesses
- Previous injuries
If you have a pre-existing injury or illness, you must disclose it when seeking financial compensation for an auto accident. A prior health issue does prevent victims from seeking compensation for pre-existing injuries in fort lauderdale car accidents lawyer via an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, they should understand how their health status could affect a damages claim. An insurer can challenge or outright reject a claim due to a prior injury.
Florida car accident lawyers have the legal knowledge and experience to deal with this challenge and can advise you further.
How Pre-Existing Injuries in Car Accidents Can Affect a Florida Insurance Claim
Various factors determine the compensation outcome of a personal injury case. When fort myers car accident lawyer cases involve pre-existing injuries, they can become more complex. Victims may have to take extra steps to determine how their prior medical condition affects an insurance claim for damages and what’s required to prove it.
The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine
This legal doctrine ensures that injured parties with pre-existing health conditions cannot be barred from seeking compensation after a crash in Florida. It declares that defendants can be liable for a plaintiff’s reaction to the accident, regardless of:
- The plaintiff’s health status
- Whether their prior health issue made them more vulnerable to the impact of a crash than a person without a pre-existing condition
The Eggshell Plaintiff doctrine does not guarantee the plaintiff compensation because they had an injury or medical condition before the accident. It only ensures a defendant cannot hold their condition against them should the plaintiff demand compensation for their accident-related injuries.
Proving How a Florida Car Accident Affected a Prior Injury
Miami Car accident lawyer victims with prior injuries must determine if the wreck caused a new injury or aggravated an existing one. Securing evidence that proves either outcome is critical to a compensation case. Such evidence can include:
- Records showing the medical treatment received for an injury before or after a collision. These records should note one’s health status before and after the accident, the severity of their injuries, new diagnoses, and other information.
- A medical professional’s expert testimony, which can explain how the crash affected a previous injury or illness. Their analysis can discuss new or worsening symptoms after the accident.
- Proof that the injured party followed all directed treatment for maximum medical improvement (MMI) to improve their health and not worsen an injury.
Pre-existing Injuries and Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law
Another impact of pre-existing injuries on a Florida car accident claim is that injured parties could see their compensation reduced if a court determines their prior physical or health condition made them partially liable for a crash.
This is particularly important because if a person with an existing injury is found more than 50% responsible for a crash, they won’t collect any financial compensation from the defendant, per Florida Statutes § 768.81. They might end up owing the other party awards since that party is less than 50% responsible for the collision.
A Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Seek Damages for Claims Involving Pre-Existing Conditions
Car accident victims can hire legal professionals to represent them, whether managing the Florida car accident claim process or taking on the liable party in a negligence lawsuit.
You should never shoulder the financial burden of a car accident you did not cause. If negligence worsens your injuries or creates new ones that you must manage, you have the right to seek financial compensation. An attorney can collect evidence proving the accident caused or worsened your injury. They can also show how the accident directly harmed you.
You could collect economic and non-economic damages from the liable party, such as your:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
An attorney can explain how insurance claims and pre-existing conditions work in Florida. Injured parties who fail to seek. They can also keep your case on track and file it on time and in accordance with Florida Statutes § 95.11, which generally gives injured parties two years from the accident date to sue for damages.
Call Us Today for Help With a Florida Car Accident Claim–Free Consultation
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can lead your case if someone else caused an accident that aggravated your existing injury or caused new ones. Our personal injury attorneys have represented many car accident victims and understand the unique needs of each case we handle. We will listen to your story and start working promptly on your case.
Our firm treats our clients like family, and we fight to recover the money they are due. We will take care of your case while you take care of your health, and we won’t charge any attorney’s fees unless we win. Call us today at (954) 633-8270 for a free consultation.