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Pre-Existing Conditions In Personal Injury Cases

Pre-Existing Conditions and Personal Injury Claims

There is a common myth that a pre-existing condition will affect your ability to collect compensation in a personal injury case. This is untrue. If you are able to prove that the new injury is unrelated to the pre-exiting condition or that the new injury has made the pre-existing issue worse, then you can still file a personal injury claim for compensation.

Attorneys rely on the so-called “Eggshell Skull Rule” in cases that involve pre-existing conditions. This legal concept states that just because the victim was more susceptible to injury due to a pre-exiting condition, it does not mean that the one who caused the new injury or made the old injury worse is immune from liability. The rule applies even if the defense proves that someone without a pre-existing condition would not have suffered an injury under the same circumstances.

Anytime an injury is caused by another person’s negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensation, but it is best to meet with a personal injury attorney to determine if you have a case and what the claim will be.

Building a Personal Injury Case When Pre-Existing Conditions Are Present

It’s an undeniable fact that insurance companies, defense attorneys, and the at-fault party will use any and all arguments possible to reduce or deny a personal injury compensation award. This includes claiming that any injuries you suffered in an accident are the result of a pre-existing condition and not the result of the accident.

If you have a pre-existing condition – of any kind – tell your attorney about it right away, even if you think the condition cannot possibly affect your claim. Chances are very high that the condition will be brought up during your case. If your attorney is aware of the issue ahead of time he or she can incorporate that into your legal strategy. Your attorney will have to prove:

  • That the new injury was not caused by or related to your existing injury OR
  • That the new injury caused your existing health problem to worsen.

Being aware of the condition ahead of time also allows your attorney to review the facts of the injuries and how they may or may not relate to the current personal injury case. Your attorney will examine:

  • Which parts of the body are affected by both the old and the new injuries.
  • The amount of time that has passed between the two injuries.
  • Your recovery status related to the pre-existing condition.
  • Whether or not the new injury affected the pre-existing injury or condition.

Common Pre-Existing Conditions

There are many different types of pre-existing conditions that may affect your case, but some tend to become aggravated by new injuries more than others. These include:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease causes discs in the spinal column to deteriorate. It’s often age-related. A fresh injury from a car accident or a slip and fall can cause the condition to flare up, impacting mobility and even affecting your ability to work.
  • Back injuries are very common work-related injuries and can be aggravated by heavy lifting, slips and falls or car accidents.
  • Neck injuries may be caused by a car accident, slip and fall, or work injury and can, unfortunately, be very easily aggravated by new trauma.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney at Eisenberg Law For Help

If you have been injured in an accident and think you have a personal injury case but are worried about a pre-existing condition being used against you, contact the accident attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison, WI. During a free, no-obligation consultation we help you determine if you have a case or not and advise you on next steps. We bring over 35 years of experience to each case and have a long history of successfully securing accident compensation for our clients.

Call Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or email to arrange your free consultation.



Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.