If you are seeking compensation in a personal injury claim, you may be concerned about pre-existing conditions affecting your ability to recover compensation.
Will pre-existing conditions affect my ability to recover compensation?
There’s a term that comes up almost daily in law practice, especially for those of us who practice in personal injury. Increasingly, over the last several years, it’s a term that the general public has gotten very familiar with— pre-existing condition. We’re used to hearing that term in the context of health insurance. Most everyone knows or has heard of someone whose health insurance claim has been denied because of a preexisting condition. Likewise, we know that people with preexisting conditions sometimes have difficulty getting access to health insurance. It comes up often in my practice that a client comes in, who has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or bad conduct, and they ask how their preexisting condition impacts their claim under Mississippi law.
To look at it from another angle, oftentimes, we have clients who come into us with a claim or an injury who have tried to resolve it on their own with the insurance company of the person who is responsible for causing that injury, and the insurance company wants to devalue their claim because of an alleged preexisting condition of that person. Folks often ask and want to know how that impacts their claim. Here’s the reality of preexisting conditions under Mississippi law, and really the laws of most states.
When a person does bad conduct or a person makes decisions and acts in a way that hurts someone else – what we call negligence – they take that person as they find them. It’s called the eggshell rule in some states; the thin skull rule is what it’s referred to in other states.
I have handled multiple cases like these over the last few years, and I’m working on some now. Take the example of an older person, a retired person, who is still very active in their life but maybe has arthritis, maybe they’re in their 60s or 70s, or they’ve had prior back surgery. They have a preexisting condition in the sense that their back is not as strong as it once was, or their knee or their hip isn’t as strong as it once was, or they’ve had prior injuries, but they’re still active and able to drive. Well, if a drunk, distracted or irresponsible driver comes along and runs a red light or stop sign and hits that elderly person’s car, causing new injuries to that back, hip, or knee where they’ve had problems, or that exacerbates or brings back the problems that they previously had with that back, hip or knee, the person who caused that wreck is responsible for those exacerbated, worsened, or new injuries. The preexisting condition is, in some instances, a side note. Ultimately, the person who caused that injury takes their victim as they find them.
Frankly, what we have learned is to not be afraid of preexisting conditions in our clients. We embrace them because our clients are who they are. Our clients are the victim, and the guilty party has to take our victim the way that they found them. If they made a preexisting condition worse, if they brought back an old injury that our client had previously recovered from, if they added new injuries on top of it, then they have to be held responsible for that under Mississippi law, and under the laws of most states. An experienced trial lawyer who works on personal injury cases on a regular basis will know how to work up the case to make sure that the client is fairly compensated for those injuries, regardless of whether a preexisting condition is present.
If you have a personal injury claim, Brad Morris Law Firm is here and available for consult regarding your preexisting condition or any other claim that you may have. We’ll try to answer your questions.
Were you or a loved one injured due to someone else’s negligence and have questions about pre-existing conditions?
Contact the experienced Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience work for you.
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These California Personal Injury Lawyers have done a great job creating educational content. If you need help with a personal injury claim in California, we recommend you take a look at their website.