How Do Exacerbated Injuries Affect My Car Accident Case?

Written by: Coletrane & Messersmith

Obtaining Compensation Under the “Eggshell Skull” Doctrine

Virginia law recognizes that many people have underlying conditions and injuries that can be made worse by an accident. The state recognizes what is known as the “eggshell skull” doctrine, meaning that a defendant “takes the plaintiff as he finds him” not as a normal, healthy person would be. Therefore, if a condition is exacerbated or made worse by an accident, the plaintiff may be entitled to additional compensation.

At Coletrane & Messersmith, we know the devastation car accidents can cause to people and their families. We work tirelessly to obtain the maximum compensation allowed under Virginia law, including compensation for pre-existing conditions made worse by a car crash. If you or someone you love was injured in a collision, contact our office at (757) 223-4455 for a free consultation. 

Virginia and the Eggshell Skull Doctrine

Virginia courts have long recognized the “eggshell skull” or eggshell head doctrine. Under this rule, a defendant who injures a plaintiff takes the plaintiff as he finds him. The doctrine comes into play when someone has a pre-existing condition or injury that is made worse by an accident. 

Under this principle, if your pre-existing injuries or conditions were aggravated by the accident, you might be entitled to additional compensation. You might be entitled to this financial recovery whether you knew about the condition or not. However, it may be challenging to prove your case without the help of a car accident lawyer.

Obtaining Damages for Injuries Made Worse After a Car Accident

After a car accident, one of the most difficult things is determining the amount of damages. Cases, where the crash exacerbates pre-existing injuries or conditions create an additional hurdle. Damages in these kinds of cases are based on the extent that the collision worsened the condition. Therefore, a plaintiff is not entitled to compensation for the pre-existing condition itself, only to the extent that it was made worse by the accident.

Insurance adjusters routinely try to deny claims or downplay injuries, particularly in cases with an “eggshell plaintiff.” An injured party must prove their damages through medical bills and other evidence. To obtain the maximum compensation for your case, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately after the accident and keep a detailed record of your condition. You should never stop medical treatment without being cleared by your doctor and speaking to your attorney.

Hiring an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Despite what most people think, even a low-speed collision can have a major impact. For a person with pre-existing conditions, a fender bender can prove catastrophic. If you suffer from a pre-existing condition or injury that was made worse after an auto accident, contact our office. Call (757) 223-4455 for a free consultation. 

Get the dedicated, compassionate representation you deserve after an accident with injury. All consultations are completed at no cost and without obligation to retain our services. Discover how much your claim might be worth by calling our office today. There are no fees unless we win.

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Injured? Get Help, Fast.

If you have been injured contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (757) 223-4455 to discuss your legal options. Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless we win.

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