If you have a physical or medical condition that is of concern, but generally well-managed, an accident that causes this condition to deteriorate can be devastating. The medical costs for treating your previously managed condition could skyrocket to unmanageable proportions, and you may find yourself unable to meet the new costs. The question that you might find yourself asking is whether or not you can even receive compensation from the person who made your condition worse since you were already sick or injured. The good news is that in many cases, you can.

Eggshell Doctrine

In Virginia, as in many states across the country, the individual who causes another’s injury is liable for the aggravation of that person’s pre-existing condition, if the aggravation is a foreseeable consequence of the injury. This is known as the eggshell plaintiff doctrine. In a legal case, the eggshell doctrine means “taking the victim as you find them.”

Just as a person is responsible for an injured person’s injuries that come after the initial accident, they are also responsible for conditions they made worse. It does not matter that the injured person was not aware of their condition before the accident but discovered it while receiving treatment for injuries related to the accident.

However, a person with a previous medical condition or injury has to show that there is a connection between the aggravation of their illness or injury, and not just state a probability. Claiming that generally such aggravations are caused by an injury of the kind sustained would likely not be enough legally, and the injured person would have to present evidence that this is what happened in his particular case. Medical evidence can be crucial in these cases, and often if the same treating physician from before the accident treats the patient after, then there is a better chance that they can corroborate the patient’s claim of an aggravation.

The level of compensation may be affected by how bad the aggravation is, if the accident only slightly and temporarily aggravates a condition, the injured party may not receive the same level of compensation as a person whose condition is permanently aggravated. However, a plaintiff may increase their chances of recovery by presenting a strong case supported by medical testimony and testimony from friends and relatives as to how their quality of life is affected after an accident.

A pre-existing condition can make the case more complex. This is why it is a good idea to consult with a skilled Virginia personal injury attorney before having any discussions with the at-fault party or their insurance company.

Virginia Accident Attorneys Fighting for Victims

Whether you were aware of and receiving treatment for your preexisting medical condition, or it was discovered after you were injured, your Virginia personal injury attorney will present the evidence needed to prove that the accident did indeed result in the worsening of your condition and how that has increased your medical expenses, financial losses, quality of life, and other losses you have suffered from this accident. Our Virginia accident law firm has successfully represented many injured and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

 

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