While an injured person is not entitled to compensation for pre-existing conditions, he or she may be entitled if a pre-existing condition was worsened as a result of the accident. For the injured party, how forthcoming he or she is regarding any pre-existing conditions or injuries may greatly impact how the case is handled. Omission or concealment of such information could lessen the credibility of a claim.
Transparency in a case like this can either benefit or hurt a plaintiff’s case. With the “egg-shell plaintiff” theory, the law dictates that a defendant must take a plaintiff as found. For example, if you injure someone with your car who happens to have weak bones, your liability is not reduced simply because the person is predisposed to greater injury. A doctor would be required to substantiate the claim that the injured party’s pre-existing condition was worsened and necessitates new treatment related to the recent injury.
Conversely, a pre-existing condition may hurt a plaintiff’s case and may lessen the worth of a case if there are questions regarding treatment. For example, if a plaintiff already suffers from back problems and regularly sees a chiropractor, then gets into a car crash and continues to see a chiropractor for the worsened pain, the legitimacy of that claim may be doubted. In any case, insurance companies do their best to limit what they pay out and will try to take advantage of a pre-existing condition to lessen compensation.
Fieger Law is Michigan’s top law firm specializing in personal injury cases and will fight for your right to compensation. We have helped victims of construction site accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and have won over 165 verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more.