stethoscope for medical doctor diagnosis on blue health science

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions’ Effect on an Injury Claim

Caleb Bland Law, PLLC March 28, 2023

In Kentucky, accident and personal injury victims are often eligible to pursue fair financial compensation for their injuries through a claim or lawsuit. However, an injured person with an underlying medical issue may face different challenges when seeking damages after an accident. An experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney can enlighten you about the possible impacts your pre-existing health condition can have on your injury claims. 

At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, our attorney is poised and ready to support and represent accident victims with underlying medical conditions in their injury claims. Our skilled lawyer can evaluate every last detail of your unique situation, enlighten you about your available legal options to pursue compensation, and help you hold the liable party responsible. We proudly serve clients throughout Elizabethtown, Hodgenville, Bardstown, Radcliff, Louisville, and Grayson County, Kentucky. 

What Are Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?  

A pre-existing or underlying medical condition can be described as a mental or physical health issue that a person had before sustaining a new injury in an accident. Such pre-existing health problems may be an illness, a disease, or an injury. 

Statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that approximately 133 million non-elderly Americans are suffering from an underlying medical condition. Here are some common examples of existing health issues: 

  • Cancer 

  • Diabetes 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Neck and back issues due to bad posture 

  • Lupus 

  • Asthma 

  • Epilepsy 

  • Depression 

  • Chronic back pain 

  • Acne 

  • Sleep apnea 

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 

  • Pregnancy 

  • Anxiety 

  • Extreme obesity 

If you or a family member was hurt in an accident while having a pre-existing health problem, you need to reach out to a practiced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can fully explain the impact of your underlying medical issue on your accident claims and attempt to recover the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. 

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

Kentucky is a "choice no-fault" state for auto accidents. According to the state's no-fault principle, an accident victim is eligible to file an injury claim with their own insurance provider by seeking PIP benefits – usually a minimum of $10,000 – for medical expenses, lost wages, and other "out-of-pocket" costs suffered due to the injury. 

However, injured persons in Kentucky are allowed to "opt out" of the no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if the injury or accident meets the statutory threshold below: 

  • The accident resulted in medical expenses of over $1,000. 

  • The victim sustained a serious injury, such as a compound fracture, permanent injury, permanent disfigurement, or any permanent loss of a body function or organ. 

Having a pre-existing injury or medical issue can present various challenges when filing a claim or lawsuit against the liable party. To recover damages under your present condition, you must prove negligence and establish liability by showing that: 

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

  • The defendant breached their duty of care by acting carelessly or negligently. 

  • The negligent actions of the at-fault party resulted in your injuries. 

  • The defendant's reckless actions caused, worsened, or are currently affecting your pre-existing health problem. 

  • You suffered physical injuries, actual harm, or damages due to the at-fault party's negligence. 

Plaintiffs who are successful with their claims may be awarded financial compensation for injuries and damages suffered in the accident. In addition, you may receive financial compensation for your existing injuries or medical issues. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the claims process and help you understand how the eggshell doctrine might possibly affect your case. 

The "Eggshell Skull Plaintiff" Rule 

The "eggshell skull plaintiff" rule refers to a legal doctrine often cited in personal injury cases involving plaintiffs or accident victims with pre-existing injuries and health problems. Essentially, the eggshell skull plaintiff rule establishes that a defendant would be held responsible for all reactions, injuries, and damages that the victim sustains as a result of the neglect or wrongful act of the defendant, regardless of whether they knew about the claimant's underlying injuries or health situation. 

Furthermore, the eggshell plaintiff rule affects both the plaintiff and the defendant. Generally, claimants can be categorized into: 

  • An eggshell skull plaintiff – a person prone to injury or harm due to their delicate health condition 

  • A claimant who has a pre-existing medical problem or injury 

A reliable personal injury lawyer can evaluate every surrounding detail of your unique situation, help file your claims, and seek the financial justice that you deserve. 

Experience You Can Trust 

Getting hurt in an accident can be an overwhelming experience, and having a pre-existing medical condition can make your case quite complicated. Regardless, you're not alone. At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, we're committed to offering experienced legal services and protecting the legal rights of accident victims with underlying medical issues and their family members. 

As your legal counsel, we can review all of the facts of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, and explore your possible legal options to seek damages. Our skilled lawyer can help file your claims, handle all discussions and negotiations with the insurer, or take additional legal action when required. Having us on your side can make a huge difference in your personal injury claim. 

Having a pre-existing medical problem should never prevent you from seeking damages for your injuries. Contact us at Caleb Bland Law, PLLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with a trusted personal injury attorney. We proudly serve clients throughout Elizabethtown, Hodgenville, Bardstown, Radcliff, Louisville, and Grayson County, Kentucky.