Preexisting Injuries: How Do They Impact Your Car Accident Case?
This is Jonathan Franco and I wanted to talk a little bit about pre-existing injuries and how they can affect your car accident case. Lots of people have a pre-existing injuries to their back or their neck or some other body part, and they’re wondering how that can impact their car accident claim. The answer is that it will be one of the first things that the insurance company looks into when they try to knock down the value of your case. Ultimately when it goes before a jury, if it gets that far, it will be something that the defense counsel for the insurance company is
really keying in on. Now that can go in two different directions. You could lose value to your case because the jury buys that your injuries are pre-existing. Or if you argue it right, if your attorney is competent and knows how to turn this argument around, it could actually be beneficial. We have something in the law called the eggshell skull rule and an eggshell skull jury instruction. What it says is that if you’re the person unlucky enough to wreck into the person with the eggshell skull, and their skull shatters, you don’t get a credit because they had an eggshell skull. You take your plaintiff as they come. Which means that you don’t get any special treatment because you just happen to be unlucky enough to wreck into somebody that had that eggshell skull. What it really means is that if the jury can’t distinguish between what was pre-existing and what was caused by the car accident then they can actually give you the damages flowing from all of it. So that’s just one question that we get asked quite often and that would be one overview on how we handle it.