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Pasadena Personal Injury Attorney

Have you suffered aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition?

Joe, a car accident injury client of the firm.

If you have suffered aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition as a result of an accident, then you are legally entitled to compensation for the additional harm that was caused. Under the law, you are called an "eggshell plaintiff," meaning that you are fragile and more susceptible to physical injuries than the average person. Under the eggshell doctrine, the defendant must "take the victim as he finds him," invisible medical conditions and all. What does this mean to you? This means that the person liable for your injuries is liable for any damage that was caused by the accident. This includes any unforeseen injuries suffered by the eggshell plaintiff.

Examples of an Eggshell Plaintiff

  • You have endured two back surgeries and must walk with the assistance of a cane. As you are walking across the street through a crosswalk, a car slides in and strikes you at 5mph. Although this speed may not have caused much damage to a normal healthy adult, it has severely damaged your back causing you to fall on the ground where you are not able to stand back up. Your recent back surgery is virtually ruined and you are required to undergo another surgery immediately. In this case, the defendant is liable for the cost of your upcoming back surgery and other associated medical costs.
  • You had neck surgery years ago and a surgeon placed metal rods in your neck. You are struck from behind at 35 mph in a rear-end collision where you suffer whiplash injuries. The metal rods in your neck come apart causing a medical emergency where you must seek medical treatment right away. The person who struck you from behind is responsible for your medical costs even though a normal person wouldn't have suffered such injuries in such a minor impact.

California Jury Instruction & the Eggshell Plaintiff

Under certain circumstances your case may go to trial. If the judge decides that the "eggshell plaintiff" rule applies to you, then the jury will be read the California jury instruction with addresses the aggravations 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."

Pasadena Personal Injury Lawyer

At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we have extensive experience handling cases where the victim suffered from an aggravation to a pre-existing medical condition. We are aware that the defense adjuster will use your pre-existing injury against you in an effort to devalue your claim. The adjuster will state that the injuries that you say resulted from the accident are in fact injuries that you suffered beforehand, and they will say that they won't pay for them.

As your Pasadena personal injury attorneys we will zealously fight any desperate attempt by the insurance company to reduce the amount of damages owed to you. We will gather all of your medical records associated with your pre-existing medical condition and then explain how the recent accident actually made your pre-existing medical condition worse. We will not accept a low-ball settlement offer; instead we will pursue maximum compensation for the additional harm that you have been forced to endure.

Contact a Pasadena personal injury lawyer from McGee, Lerer & Associates if your pre-existing medical condition has been aggravated by an accident.