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Santa Monica Personal Injury Lawyer

Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Medical Condition

Joe, a car accident injury client of the firm.

Although some people are perfectly healthy, others have to live with medical conditions that become a part of their everyday life. When people who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions are involved in an accident, then they are susceptible to having their pre-existing medical conditions aggravated or made worse. If you were injured in an accident and if you suffered aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition or a prior injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the additional harm that was caused to you.

People with prior injuries or pre-existing medical conditions are what the law refers to as "eggshell plaintiffs." This means that you are fragile and susceptible to injuries more than an average person would be. Under the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, the defendant must be responsible for the victim including their invisible medical conditions. This means the defendant is legally liable for the damage that was caused by the accident, even if they had no way of predicting the severity of injuries suffered by the eggshell plaintiff.

An Example of an Eggshell Plaintiff

An elderly woman has a hip implant. She is walking through a retail store and there is a leaky roof. She slips and falls on the wet slippery surface thus damaging her hip implant and rendering it broken. She must seek out immediate hip surgery to repair or replace the broken hip implant. Although a younger adult may not have broken their hip at all, the elderly adult is far more fragile. Under premises liability law, the property owner would be responsible for paying for the hip surgery that would be required.

If your case heads to trial and the presiding judge decides that you are in fact an "eggshell plaintiff," then the jury will be read the California jury instruction which discusses the aggravation of a prior injury, CACI 3927, which says:

"Plaintiff is not entitled to damages for any physical or emotional condition that he/she had before defendant's conduct occurred. However, if plaintiff had a physical or emotional condition that was made worse by defendant's wrongful conduct, you must award damages that will reasonably and fairly compensate him/her for the effect on that condition."

Santa Monica Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side

At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we are a husband and wife team that has dedicated our legal careers and our practice to the field of personal injury law for over 35 years. Our firm has extensive experience in cases involving the aggravation of pre-existing injuries or medical conditions. We can reasonably expect the insurance adjuster to use your pre-existing conditions against you, and they will most likely say that your current complaints are ones that you suffered before the accident. They will use your pre-existing medical conditions or injury against you in order to discount how much they have to pay you.

As your Santa Monica personal injury lawyers, we will vigorously fight for the compensation that you deserve. We will not accept such claims by the insurance adjuster, nor will we agree with their "theory" about how your claims are invented or merely pre-existing conditions. We will gather all your medical documentation relating to your pre-existing medical condition and use that information to prove that the new accident did, in fact, aggravate your pre-existing medical condition and cause further pain, suffering and physical harm to you. You deserve ample compensation for your injuries; don't let an unfair insurance adjuster use your medical condition to devalue your claim.

Contact a Santa Monica personal injury lawyer from McGee, Lerer & Associates for a free consultation if your medical condition has been worsened by an accident.