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When it comes to personal injury claims, understanding the laws surrounding pre-existing conditions can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Florida has specific regulations in place that determine the extent to which your pre-existing condition may impact your claim. This article aims to educate our clients about these laws and shed light on how pre-existing conditions can affect your personal injury claim in Sarasota. 

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition refers to any health issue or injury that you had before the accident or incident that led to your personal injury claim. These conditions can range from chronic illnesses, prior injuries, or even previous accidents. Many individuals are concerned that having a pre-existing condition may hinder their chances of receiving fair compensation, but that is not always the case.

Comparative Negligence Rule

Florida follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which means that compensation is allocated based on each party’s proportion of fault and if the Plaintiff is found to be greater than 50 percent at fault for the accident, then they cannot recover any damages.  If your pre-existing condition was worsened or aggravated by the accident, you may still be eligible for compensation for the increased damage caused by the defendant’s negligence. However, it is crucial to establish a clear link between the accident and the amplified effects on your pre-existing condition.

The Eggshell Skull Rule

Under the “eggshell skull” rule, the responsible party is held accountable for the full extent of the damages, even if the injured party had a pre-existing condition that made them more vulnerable to harm. In other words, defendants cannot escape liability by arguing that their injuries would not have been as severe if they didn’t have a pre-existing condition. The focus is on the responsibility of the negligent party rather than the victim’s vulnerability.

Proper Documentation

To strengthen your personal injury claim, it is imperative to have proper documentation that establishes a clear link between the accident and the exacerbation of your pre-existing condition. Medical records, expert testimony, and eyewitness accounts can all play a crucial role in proving the defendant’s negligence and the impact on your health.

While pre-existing conditions can complicate personal injury claims, understanding the laws surrounding them can help protect your rights as a victim. The modified comparative negligence rule and the eggshell skull rule may ensure that you can still seek compensation if your pre-existing condition was worsened by an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Seeking legal counsel from experienced personal injury attorneys in Sarasota can greatly assist you in navigating the complexities of these laws and improving your chances of receiving fair compensation. Contact our team today to discuss your options.