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Pre-Existing Condition

What happens if you are injured in a car accident or another kind of personal injury case and you have a pre-existing injury? When determining your damages, your attorney will pay particular attention to any pre-existing conditions or injuries that were aggravated by the negligence or wrongdoing of another.

In many of our cases, a person’s injuries are superimposed upon a pre-existing condition. Keep in mind that evidence of an aggravation of a preexisting condition is always admissible through expert testimony. The courts in Pennsylvania have consistently held that the party that harmed you is still liable for the full extent of the damage he or she has inflicted even if it is greater than he or she could have foreseen.

The attorney for the other side will argue often argues that this accident didn’t really cause your damages and that your injuries existed before the accident. The attorney on the other side of the case will carefully scrutinize your medical records looking for any evidence to suggest that some or all of your damages existed before the cause of action in this case arose.

If you have a pre-existing condition, then your personal injury attorney will seek out the services of a qualified expert witness to explain the difference between your condition or injury both before and after the accident.

Personal Injury Attorneys for Pre-Existing Conditions in West Chester, Pennsylvania

If your personal injury case involved a pre-existing condition or injury that was aggravated because of the negligence of another, then seek out the services of an experienced personal injury attorney in West Chester, PA.

The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices work hard in complex injury cases to examine the impact of any pre-existing condition and how to show the extent that your injuries were aggravated by the wrongdoing of another.

If you have been involved in an accident in Chester County and surrounding areas, then call Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 719-3190 today to explore your legal options.

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Types of Pre-Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition that is aggravated by a car accident or another type of personal injury claim can include:

  • Back injury
  • Knee injury
  • Eye injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Amputation

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Jury Instructions on Pre-Existing Conditions in Pennsylvania

One of the easiest ways to understand Pennsylvania law when it comes to the impact of a pre-existing condition in a personal injury case is to read the standard jury instructions that might apply to your case. The jury instructions related to a pre-existing condition can be found in Chapter 7 - Damages at PA-JICIV 7.70, Pa. SSJI (Civ), § 7.70 (2013) in the Pennsylvania Suggested Standard Civil Jury Instructions, 4th Edition, 2016 Supplement.

Under Pennsylvania law, damages for injuries should be awarded in a car accident or personal injury case for all injuries caused by the accident or occurrence even if:

  • The injuries caused by the accident were more severe than could have been foreseen because of the plaintiff’s prior condition
  • A preexisting medical condition was made worse by the accident.

If the jury finds that the plaintiff did have a preexisting condition that was aggravated by the defendant's negligence, the defendant is responsible for any aggravation caused by the accident or occurrence. On the other hand, the jury will be reminded that the defendant can be held responsible only for those injuries or the aggravation of a prior injury or condition that were actually caused by the accident or occurrence. The standard jury instruction used in personal injury cases in Pennsylvania follows the Restatement (Second) of Torts, section 461.

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Finding an Attorney for Accidents Involving Pre-Existing Injuries

Accidents are unexpected and it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices to seek damages for your injuries. Attorneys will investigate all details of your case and can file a claim to get you compensation so that you can be restored back to the state you were in prior to the accident.

Call Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 719-3190 today. Attorneys have successfully represented clients in West Chester, Radnor, Plymouth Square, Malvern, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, and Kennett Square.

This article was last updated on December 29, 2016.