Most Californians know that car accident victims can seek compensation from the liable driver. But does a defendant still owe you compensation if a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition? 

In short, yes. You can demand compensation for any damages, including existing conditions. However, proving these damages can be difficult, so you need a reliable attorney to fight for you.

Silva Injury Law is a leading firm that serves plaintiffs throughout California. Call our offices at  (209) 600-4389 to discuss your case and see if you’re eligible for compensation. 

What Is an Eggshell Plaintiff?

Health complications like an illness, injury, or birth condition can make someone more susceptive to harm than others. These people are known as “eggshell plaintiffs” because they are more fragile than others. 

These plaintiffs can suffer catastrophic harm after an accident, even if it is a minor fender bender that didn’t involve high speeds or force. Defendants sometimes think they shouldn’t have to compensate these plaintiffs because the accident was minor and wouldn’t have caused such severe injuries if the plaintiff wasn’t sensitive.

California courts disagree and hold defendants liable in these cases. You are entitled to compensation if you have a pre-existing injury aggravated in a car accident. 

Types of Pre-Existing Injuries We Handle

Driving in California is dangerous. In 2019, car accidents caused nearly 270,000 injuries and close to 3,700 deaths. Many of these accidents involve people with existing health complications. 

Car crashes often aggravate the following pre-existing injuries:

  • Back and neck injuries. The impact of a car crash can exacerbate conditions like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or chronic back, leading to increased pain and potential long-term complications.
  • Head injuries. Individuals with a history of concussions or other head injuries may experience worsened symptoms or complications. These can include traumatic brain injuries and cognitive disorders.
  • Orthopedic conditions. A collision may aggravate arthritis, osteoporosis, or joint problems. These conditions can cause increased pain, stiffness, and potential complications.
  • Soft tissue damage. Those with fibromyalgia or previous soft tissue injuries may experience heightened pain and discomfort following a car crash. This pain can impact your ability to work, conduct daily chores, and enjoy life.
  • Cardiovascular issues. Individuals with heart conditions may face increased stress during a car accident. An accident can trigger an emergency like a heart attack or exacerbate other cardiovascular problems.
  • Psychological conditions. An accident can aggravate health conditions like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. 
  • Respiratory problems. Crashes tend to exacerbate conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Victims may experience stress, panic, and life-threatening situations due to the sudden impact of the accident.
  • Joint and muscle disorders. The force of an accident may aggravate conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or muscular dystrophy. Victims may experience increased pain, limited mobility, and additional complications.
  • Nerve damage. It’s common for accidents to compress and pinch nerves. Victims with existing nerve damage and neuropathies may notice increased sensitivity, tingling, and numbness.

These are only a handful of injuries that are common after a crash. If you think you have a pre-existing injury, speak with Silva Injury Law to see if you are eligible for compensation.

How Silva Injury Law Can Seek Compensation for Your Injuries

Our firm focuses on helping victims after car crashes and tragic incidents. We know what it takes to hold people accountable and pursue high-value settlements. Here’s how we can help you if a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Establish Liability

We excel in collecting evidence and investigating crashes. Our team can review police reports, speak with witnesses, and analyze photos and videos to understand how the accident happened. After this, we will work on connecting the other driver’s actions with your injuries and property damage.

File a Personal Injury Claim

Once we identify the liable driver, our firm doesn’t hesitate to take legal action, including sending a demand letter, negotiating with their insurer, and filing a lawsuit with the local court. Your claim will explain what happened, why the other side is liable, and propose a settlement offer to compensate for your injuries.

Prove That the Accident Aggravated a Pre-Existing Condition

The defendant will likely claim that your injuries occurred before the crash, making you ineligible for compensation. While this may be true in some cases, jurors can award you compensation if an accident aggravated these pre-existing injuries. Our firm will present evidence, such as medical records and expert testimony, to show why the accident is the sole cause of your injuries.

Negotiate a Settlement

It’s common for insurance companies to offer a settlement once you file a claim. However, these early offers are usually too low to cover your damages. Our attorneys will negotiate with the insurer and present evidence to justify your demand for more compensation. We will never recommend accepting a settlement unless it’s the best offer possible.

Take the Defendant to Court

While rare, settling a claim isn’t always the best option. Silva Injury Law stands ready to fight for your rights at trial if necessary. Our team will present a compelling case to the judge and jury. We will establish liability, outline your injuries, and advocate for your need for compensation. 

Damages Available After a Car Accident

The liable driver may owe you compensation for any damages caused by the accident. While this includes your pre-existing injuries, it also covers any other physical, psychological, or financial effects of the crash.

Common damages you can seek in an aggravated injury settlement include:

  • Medical costs, 
  • Lost paychecks, 
  • Pain and suffering, 
  • Disability and impairment, and 
  • Punitive damages. 

It is difficult to know which damages you can seek and how much compensation you can receive. Only an experienced attorney can help you with this process and estimate your potential recovery.

Claim Your Free Consultation

Silva Injury Law can help you get compensation if a car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition. We have decades of experience litigating personal injury cases and know how to get justice for our clients. Our fierce advocacy has led to many successful outcomes and millions of dollars collected for our clients. Call today at (209) 600-4389 to schedule a free consultation with our firm.