Long Beach Accident and Injury Attorney
Have You Suffered Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
Joe, a firm client who was in a car accident while recuperating from back surgery
If as the result of an accident, you have suffered aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition or prior injury, you are entitled to be compensated for that additional harm. You are what the law refers to as an "eggshell plaintiff" - you are fragile and more susceptible to injury than the average person would be. Under the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, the defendant must "take the victim as he finds him," invisible medical conditions and all. That means that the defendant is liable for all damage caused by the accident, even if the defendant could not have foreseen the severity of the injuries suffered by the eggshell plaintiff.
Eggshell Plaintiff Examples
- You are involved in a car accident in a shopping center parking lot. It is a low speed impact and there is very little damage to your car. Your passenger suffers no injuries. But you are a hemophiliac and have to be hospitalized due to severe blood loss. The defendant is on the hook for all of your medical bills, even if the average person in such a minor impact would not have been injured.
- You trip on the curled edge of a mat at a grocery store. You are able catch yourself against the shopping cart, and don't fall to the ground but instead wrench your body. A month before, you underwent a back surgery. Before the grocery store incident, you had almost completely recovered and were feeling great, but after the grocery store incident, you feel as bad as you did before the surgery. As a result of the incident, you must now undergo a second surgery that you otherwise would not have needed. The defendant is liable for the cost of the second surgery.
The Eggshell Plaintiff Jury Instruction
If your case goes to trial and the judge decides that the "eggshell plaintiff" rule applies, the jury will be read the California jury instruction which pertains to aggravation of a prior injury, CACI 3927, which states:
"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."
Long Beach Lawyers with Experience Handling Aggravation-of-Prior-Injury Cases
The attorneys at McGee, Lerer and Associates are experienced in handling cases involving exacerbation or aggravation of a prior medical condition. We specialize in
serious injury claims.
We know that the defense adjuster will use your pre-existing injury against you in an attempt to get a discount on what they have to pay you. The adjuster will argue that the injuries you contend resulted from the accident are complaints that you suffered before the accident, so they will not pay for them.
Our Long Beach personal injury lawyers will vigorously fight any attempt by the defendant to get a discount on the damages owed. We will gather all medical records relating to your prior medical condition, and then assess and quantify how the new accident aggravated the pre-existing condition. We will demand full compensation for the additional harm suffered.
Contact a Long Beach personal injury lawyer at McGee, Lerer & Associates for a free consultation and aggressive advocacy on behalf of accident victims who have suffered aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition.