Last Updated On: 19 February 2020

How pre-existing conditions impact personal injury cases

A major hurdle many personal injury attorneys face when fighting for their clients is the fact that, like many of us, their clients were not in peak or flawless health at the time of their accident. Claimants’ health conditions, both large and small, can considerably impact their personal injury claims and the compensation they receive.

Of course, claimants in personal injury cases aren’t entitled to receive payment for injuries or conditions unaffected by the accident. That said, they are entitled to compensation for pre-existing conditions to the extent they were exacerbated or aggravated by the accident, as well as mental health conditions like anxiety and depression caused by the incident. For this reason, it’s absolutely vital to determine the scope of pre-existing conditions both before and after an accident. 

Because negligent parties, their insurance companies, and the attorneys they hire, are likely to blame pre-existing conditions for much of the claimant’s post-accident suffering, clients must share as much as possible when discussing the case with their lawyers. Failing to disclose a pre-existing condition could jeopardize their case, or even leave them vulnerable to legal action, even if it was an honest mistake on their end.

Your clients may become discouraged from pursuing what is rightfully owed them falling an injury, fearing their pre-existing condition may be blamed for any (or even all) of the very real trauma they’re suffering following an accident. In many cases, however, injury victims with pre-existing conditions have a greater wealth of evidence of their medical history before the accident due to the regular medical treatment they were likely receiving. Because the potential compensation amount may depend on proving an accident exacerbated a client’s pre-existing condition or impacted their quality of life, complete and detailed medical records will be an invaluable tool in proving any claims.

No matter the extent of a claimant’s pre-existing condition, however, nobody deserves to be injured. That’s where the “Eggshell Skull Rule” comes in. This important legal concept, with a somewhat upsetting name, has huge ramifications for personal injury victims with pre-existing conditions. The rule, which comes from an imagined scenario where a victim’s skull was as thin as an eggshell, states that the relative weakness or infirmity of a victim is not a valid defense. Nobody should be apprehensive to contact an attorney if they were injured due to someone else’s negligence, regardless of the state of their health before the accident.

Are you interested in learning more about how pre-existing conditions can impact personal injury claims?

Join us for “The ‘Pre-Existing Condition Argument’ – Diffusing Deceptive Defense Rhetoric,” a FREE 3-hour CLE workshop on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Sherman Oaks. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Sherman Oaks

15433 Ventura Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 91403

This seminar offers you 3 CA CLE Credits. 

The workshop includes dinner and a workbook to take back to the office for future reference.

Also, you may bring a paralegal at no charge.

This event is open only to Plaintiff Attorneys and Paralegals.

Insurance Settlement Formulas – REVEALED AND UPDATED!

Debunking Demonstratively:

    • Pre-Existing Herniations
    • Pre-Existing Arthritis
    • Pre-Existing Pain
    • Pre-Existing Strain/Sprain

Plaintiff Attorneys & Legal Staff Only 

Space is limited and registration is mandatory! 

Thank you so much! We hope to see you there!

Need Help Finding the Best Providers to Help Your Clients?

You and your client already have enough on your plate without having to worry about finding doctors and specialists that specialize in personal injury cases. For that reason, Power Liens has your back. Since 2012 Power Liens has been connecting attorneys with physicians on liens and able to work on retainer, and we continue to grow based on the strength of the relationships we’ve nurtured between law firms and medical practices of all kinds all over California. Check out for our full directory of providers, or call us at 800-680-5526 for more information about how Power Liens can help empower you and your clients to get the help they need!