If you are pursuing a car accident case, expect the defendant to do everything possible to deny your damages or limit them as much as possible. A common tactic with accident claim defendants is to use the preexisting injury defense. The pre-existing injury defense argues that your injuries existed before the latest accident and that the defendant isn't responsible for them.
Here are some of the tactics you can use to overcome the pre-existing injury defense.
The Thin Skull Rule Law
The thin skull rule law is a legal principle that argues that a fragile plaintiff should be fully compensated for their injuries even if the defendant wasn't aware of the plaintiff's fragility. In fact, the thin skull rule applies even if the defendant wouldn't have suffered the same extent of damages if they hadn't been fragile at the time of the accident.
For example, if you have osteoporosis, it means that your bones are more fragile than those of an average person without the condition. Therefore, if you are involved in a car accident, you are more likely to suffer bone fractures than an average person. However, the think skull rule bars the defendant from using your pre-existing condition (osteoporosis) to deny you compensation.
The medical report plays a huge role in all cases of injury claims. In the case of a pre-existing injury defense, you can use your medical reports to show that your post-accident injuries are different from your pre-accident injuries. At the very least, the defendant should compensate you for the injuries that arose out of the accident.
Take an example where you had been dealing with a simple fracture sustained in a slip-and-fall accident in your home. If you are involved in a car accident, the simple fracture can worsen into a compound fracture. In this case, you can use your medical records to prove that your pre-existing injury was merely a simple fracture and that the accident has triggered a compound fracture that you didn't have.
Expert Witness Testimony
In many cases where the defense argues pre-existing injuries, you may need to involve an expert witness to strengthen your claim. This expert witness should be experienced and specialized in the type of injury you are dealing with. The expert witness will use their skills and expertise to prove that you did sustain some injuries in the latest accident even if you had a pre-existing condition.
Take an example where the defense is arguing that you had injured your back while playing basketball with your child and not from the accident as you are claiming. An expert witness can show to the court why your injuries are more consistent with a rear-end accident than a fall at a basketball court.
Even eyewitnesses have a role to play when you are facing a pre-existing injury defense. Eyewitnesses can testify about your changes in lifestyle by comparing your life before and after the accident. With the comparison, you can then show the defense how the latest accident has worsened your condition or caused you new health problems for which they should compensate you.
For example, it might be that you had a pre-existing injury that prevented you from walking long distances, but you could at least walk around your house or in the garden. If a car accident intensified your injuries and you can't take a single step now, then the defendant should compensate you for the injuries. In this case, eyewitnesses can testify that you could walk around the house before the accident and that now you have to be confined to a wheelchair.
As you can see, you are not doomed to lose your accident case just because you had a pre-existing medical problem before the accident. Contact the Law Office of Randolph C. Slone as soon as possible so that we can start crafting strategies to overcome the defense and get you the compensation you deserve.