Speak to a Fort Walton Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another party (say, in a car accident), then Florida law may entitle you to sue and obtain compensation for your injuries — but what if your injuries were pre-existing?
This issue can add an interesting wrinkle to the dispute, making it more difficult to recover damages. Fortunately, it’s worth noting that the presence of a pre-existing injury does not necessarily prevent you from recovering. The circumstances may not necessarily undermine your claims. However, even if the facts are challenging, you may still be able to recover “some” damages.
Let’s take a closer look.
Causation and Pre-Existing Conditions
In all personal injury disputes, a successful plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant’s negligence (or intentional misconduct) caused them to suffer injuries. Without this “causal link” connecting the defendant’s conduct to the injury, there can be no liability.
Things get complicated with pre-existing injuries. Defendants may argue that — even if they were negligent — their conduct didn’t actually cause the plaintiff’s injury. Instead, they may argue that the injury was already existent and therefore cannot be attributed to their conduct.
Plaintiffs may be able to circumvent this defense by showing evidence that the pre-existing injury is not the same as the “new” injury — that they are independent and distinct. This will avoid the causation issue.
But what if the defendant is correct? Liability can still attach.
Aggravation of the Pre-Existing Injury
If the defendant did not actually cause a “new" injury, they can still be held liable for damages if they aggravated a pre-existing injury.
For example, suppose that you are injured in a car accident. You had a spinal degeneration condition. The accident caused the degeneration to accelerate, enhancing the symptoms of pain and motor impairment. Under these circumstances, Florida law would give you a right of action against the defendant, though you would only be able to recover damages for the losses caused by the “aggravation.”
This empowers plaintiffs to recover, though the damages may be somewhat less than they would otherwise be had the injury been “new.”
Contact a Fort Walton Personal Injury Lawyer Today for Help
Powell Law Firm is a personal injury firm that has served plaintiffs throughout the state of Florida for nearly seven decades. Over the years, we have helped injured plaintiffs sue and recover damages in a range of disputes, from motorcycle accidents to medical malpractice scenarios.
We are relentless advocates who will stop at nothing to pursue our client’s injury claims. As such, we are willing and able to push the case through to trial if necessary — this approach to litigation often gives us sufficient leverage to negotiate a favorable settlement at an early stage in the dispute.
Ready to speak to an experienced Fort Walton personal injury lawyer? Call us at 850-682-2757 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.