How do Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

If you have suffered an injury, you are likely looking for a way to recover compensation for your injuries. You might be concerned that you will not be able to recover compensation for your injuries because you have a pre-existing medical condition. Thankfully, under New Hampshire law, the defendant takes the victim as he or she comes. Defendants are still responsible for any injuries their negligence or recklessness causes the victim, regardless of the victim’s pre-existing medical condition.

Tell Your Personal Injury Attorney About Your Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions will not prevent you from recovering compensation. Nonetheless, it is wise to tell your personal injury attorney about any pre-existing conditions early on in the process. A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to successfully argue that the accident caused your injuries or made your pre-existing medical condition or injury worse.

Pre-Existing Conditions and Insurance Company

Insurance companies routinely attempt to deny claims based on the claimant’s pre-existing condition. After a claimant submits a claim, an insurance adjuster will try to determine whether the plaintiff had any pre-existing conditions that existed before the accident. If the adjuster can find a pre-existing condition, he or she might deny the claim or minimize the severity of the injuries.

For example, if the claimant sought treatment for a neck injury and injured his or her neck in a car accident, the insurance company might deny the claim. In this example, the insurance company might claim that the accident did not cause a neck injury because the injury existed before the crash. At Ward Law, our attorneys know how to use expert medical testimony to prove that a car accident caused unique injuries. We help our clients show that the motor vehicle accident made their injury or injuries worse.

The Eggshell Plaintiff Theory

New Hampshire tort law holds to the legal doctrine of the eggshell plaintiff. This legal principle states that at-fault drivers must compensate victims are fully responsible for the damage they cause a victim regardless of any unknown pre-existing conditions. In other words, defendants are responsible for any damage they cause regardless of whether a victim’s pre-existing conditions make their injuries especially harmful.

For example, if the victim has a brittle bone condition and suffers many broken bones in a car accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for all of the injuries the accident caused. Even if another plaintiff without a brittle bone condition would not have suffered any broken bones in the crash, the defendant takes the plaintiff as he or she comes.