Eggshell Plaintiff | Pre-Existing Medical Conditions in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

What is an Eggshell Plaintiff?

A victim who suffers pre-existing medical conditions and then sustains additional injuries in an accident affecting their prior injury is considered an eggshell plaintiff. The eggshell theory applies when the negligent party causes injury to another, causing the injured party significantly more injuries, due to their current medical state.
The negligent party would be held liable for all the damages resulting from the wrongful act, even if the negligent party did not intend to cause such severe injury. Damages resulting in injuries to pre-existing medical conditions include compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Examples of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

An injury that was caused by an accident can have a tremendous effect to a pre-existing medical condition. Some examples of common pre-existing conditions include:

  • Birth defects or abnormalities;
  • Physical injuries you have suffered from a previous unrelated accident;
  • Injuries that have not properly healed or are in the process of healing;
  • Degenerative injuries which worsen over time;
  • Medical conditions that surface only during certain situations, such as asthma and anxiety.


Comparing Medical Records

Your medical records will be an important piece of evidence in your personal injury case as an eggshell plaintiff. Insurance companies frequently deny paying claims to accident victims who have existing health conditions. By disclosing pre-existing medical conditions to your attorney, your attorneys will look at the following to determine how to use prior injuries to the plaintiff’s advantage:

  • The area of the body affected by the new and pre-existing injury;
  • The type of treatment received for prior injury vs. treatment required in present time;
  • Your recovery status from the pre-existing condition;
  • If the new injury worsened the pre-existing condition.

Revealing all pre-existing medical conditions in a personal injury case gives your attorney the ability to defend a case properly against the insurance company. A medical expert can state how the accident affected and even worsened the plaintiff’s condition.
Your personal injury attorney can use the the expert’s testimony and use medical records to compare the plaintiff’s degree of pain, extent of necessary care, or disability before and after the accident. Such information affects the amount of damages awarded to the eggshell plaintiff.

Contact an Eggshell Plaintiff Injury Attorney

If you have been severely hurt in an accident and have pre-existing medical conditions, our personal injury lawyers at Sweet Law Group can assist you. With over 44 of experience, we have seen thousands of potential cases and know what it takes to win. Trust an attorney with the experience and resources to handle your legal situation, and is there to fight for you. Take action now to speak to one of our personal injury attorneys today at (800) 203-3061.


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