Egg Shell Claimants—Fair compensation with “pre-existing conditions.”

Contributed by Seth A. White

In many instances, a person involved in a car accident possesses a “pre-existing condition.” This term refers to any type of physical or mental weakness or injury that existed prior to the car accident. Unfortunately for individuals that have a pre-existing condition, a car accident may make those pre-existing symptoms much worse

Example: An individual breaks their arm one week prior to a car accident. Following the car accident, that individual returns to their doctor. Their doctor recommends a complicated, corrective surgery, in addition extra physical therapy. It is fair to assume that the person with the previously broken arm suffered significantly more damages than a perfectly healthy person would have.

Is the person that caused the wreck, liable for the extra damages caused to the unhealthy person?

Arkansas adheres to the “eggshell plaintiff doctrine.” This means that the at-fault party would be responsible for the extra damages, even though the person’s injuries were made worse by a pre-existing condition.

Under the eggshell plaintiff rule, the responsible party must accept their victim as they are at the time of the accident. Specifically, an injured person’s compensation is not reduced because he or she was more likely to be injured than another person. This rule makes sure that all individuals are treated equally and fairly.

If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a car wreck that has aggravated a pre-existing condition, the attorneys at our firm are skilled and experienced in handling those types of claims. Even if you believe a pre-existing condition has contributed to injuries you suffered in a car accident, you should not hesitate to call our office for a free consultation at 479-621-0006.

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