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Pre-Existing Medical Conditions' Effect on an Injury Claim

Law Office of Joshua S. Reed Feb. 22, 2023

In Tennessee, individuals who sustain a personal injury or become hurt in a negligent accident may be entitled to seek fair compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit. However, different issues often arise when a personal injury or accident victim with a pre-existing health condition tries to pursue damages. A seasoned Tennessee personal injury attorney can help you understand the impact of your underlying medical issue on the outcome of your injury claims. 

At the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed, we have the skill, resources, and diligence to support and represent individuals with pre-existing medical conditions in their personal injury claims. Mr. Reed and our trusted team can review all of the facts of your personal situation, explore your options to recover damages, and help you pursue the financial justice you're entitled to. Our firm proudly serves clients across Knoxville, Farragut, Anderson, Oak Ridge, Blount, and throughout the state. 

What Are Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?  

A pre-existing medical condition is an underlying physical or mental health issue that an individual had before being hurt in an accident or suffering another injury. Generally, an existing health problem may be a disease, injury, or illness. 

According to the most recent statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 133 million non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing medical condition. Here are some common examples of pre-existing medical conditions: 

  • Diabetes 

  • Back and neck conditions from bad posture 

  • Asthma 

  • Chronic back pain 

  • Sleep apnea 

  • Pregnancy 

  • Extreme obesity 

  • Epilepsy 

  • Cancer 

  • Anxiety 

  • Depression 

  • Lupus 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 

  • Acne 

If you or someone you know were injured in an accident while having an underlying health problem, you should get in touch with a highly-skilled personal injury attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can educate you about how your pre-existing medical problem affects your injury claims and explore your options to pursue damages. 

How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect a Personal Injury Claim? 

Tennessee is an at-fault state for auto accidents. Under the state's at-fault system, the person who caused your accident or injury will be held financially and civilly liable for your medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses sustained. However, seeking damages may become quite complex due to your pre-existing medical issue or injury. 

In order to pursue compensation under your current situation, you must prove fault by showing the following: 

  • The at-fault party owed you a legal duty of care. 

  • The at-fault party breached their duty of care by acting negligently. 

  • The at-fault party's negligent actions caused your injuries. 

  • The negligent actions of the at-fault party caused, aggravated, or are currently affecting your pre-existing medical issue. 

  • You suffered actual harm, injuries, or damages as a result of the at-fault party's actions. 

If you're successful with your injury claims, the insurance carrier will compensate you for any injuries and damages sustained in the accident. Also, you may be awarded financial compensation for your pre-existing medical condition or injuries. A highly-skilled lawyer can enlighten you about how the eggshell doctrine may affect your claims and help you pursue your deserved financial compensation. 

The "Eggshell Skull Plaintiff" Rule 

The "eggshell skull plaintiff" rule is a legal doctrine that is usually applied in personal injury cases where the claimant has an underlying health problem. According to the principle, the at-fault party (defendant) will be held liable for all damages and reactions a plaintiff suffers due to the defendant's negligent actions, even if they were unaware of the victim's existing health issues or injuries. 

Additionally, the eggshell plaintiff rule affects both the at-fault party and the plaintiff. Generally, plaintiffs are classified into the following: 

  • A claimant with a pre-existing injury or medical problem

  • An eggshell skull plaintiff – an individual whose delicate health condition makes them prone to harm or injury

An experienced lawyer can review every aspect of your case, handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company, or take additional legal action if necessary. 

Speak With an Experienced Attorney  

Getting injured in a negligent accident can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. Though, Tennessee laws allow personal injury and accident victims to pursue damages for their injuries. However, having a pre-existing medical condition can make your injury claims become complicated. An experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your legal rights and prove that the injury or accident caused or aggravated your existing medical issue. 

At the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed, our attorneys have devoted their careers to advocating for the best interests of personal injury victims and their loved ones. As your legal team, we can evaluate every aspect of your circumstances, provide substantial evidence to establish liability, and help you file your claims. In addition, our trusted team will fight compassionately for your rights and help you recover fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Having a pre-existing medical condition shouldn't deter you from pursuing damages for your injuries. Contact us at the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed today to schedule a simple case assessment with practiced personal injury attorneys. Our experienced lawyers give you the personalized legal counsel and vigorous representation you need in your claims. We're proud to represent clients across Knoxville, Farragut, Anderson, Oak Ridge, Maryville, and all of East Tennessee, including but not limited to Jefferson County, Union County, Hamilton County, Cocke County, Cumberland County, and Monroe County.