Is a Defendant Liable for a Preexisting Condition?
Personal injury cases can present unique challenges that warn caution. Defendants and their attorneys will rely on an arsenal of legal mechanisms to deflect or minimize liability. Take the idea of preexisting conditions, for example. If an injured party has suffered a similar injury in the past, the defendants will try to argue that they are not responsible for the injuries. While it is true that a plaintiff cannot hold current defendants responsible for injuries that they have suffered in the past, plaintiffs are very much entitled to compensation for new injuries or for compensation for aggravation of existing injuries. This is true even if plaintiffs are more prone to new injuries because of their preexisting ones. Also known as the concept of ‘taking the plaintiff as the defendant finds them’. It is unsurprising then, that many of these cases turn into a bitter fight of what types of injuries already existed. This involves expert testimony. More importantly, it is at this stage that past statements to insurance companies, adjusters or attorneys may come to haunt a plaintiff. At times, a plaintiff does not disclose the existence of previous injuries, thinking that by not disclosing previous injuries, they will increase their chances of recovering more money. If this comes out at trial, however, it will greatly damage the plaintiff’s credibility and reduce their chances of winning greatly. Indeed, it is not uncommon for plaintiffs to settle for substantially less just because they did not disclose a fact they thought would harm their case. In these cases, legal advice is crucial to avoid mistakes common to such situation, and fortunately for plaintiffs, personal injury attorneys are experts at avoiding such mistakes. If you have a personal injury claim, consider contacting a Texas personal injury attorney.