Pre-Existing Medical Condition: Can I Still Recover for Injuries After an Accident?

September 30, 2020 Car Accidents

Pre-Existing Medical Condition: Can I Still Recover for Injuries After an Accident?

Yes. Under Louisiana law, a negligent driver is legally liable for any injury caused by his or her wrongful actions. This is codified in the Louisiana Civil Code at Article 2315A which states: “Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.” Legally, “injury” includes any sort of aggravation or worsening of a pre-existing medical condition.

This legal doctrine is protective of the citizens and residents of Louisiana and makes logical sense. Imagine, for example, that you are a passenger in a vehicle and that you recently broke your leg. You are in the vehicle with a cast on your leg and, then, horrifically, the vehicle in which you are traveling is smashed by another car. Because of the crash, your leg is now broken in a second place and the original break is aggravated. Your doctor is of the opinion that the first break will now require surgery and take an additional two months to heal.

In this example, the negligent driver causing the crash is legally liable for causing an independent injury, the second leg fracture, and ALSO for aggravating the original injury. The damages that can be recovered for aggravating a pre-existing medical condition are the same as for a non-pre-existing injury. In our example, the victim can recover for the medical bills related to the now-required surgery related to the first fracture and for pain and suffering for the additional eight weeks of recovery. These are in addition to any medical bills, if any, related to the second fracture. Other categories of damages can also be recovered such as lost wages/income and loss of consortium. See La. Civ. Code, art 2315B.

Aggravated injury cases are complex and require the exacting attention of highly skilled Louisiana personal injury attorneys like those at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. The reason is that, factually, it is sometimes difficult to untangle causation and provide the proper proof that a medical condition has been made worse. In our example, the causation and proof are relatively easy since there are clear medical records related to the first and second leg fractures. Furthermore, the victim’s doctor has opined that surgery is needed for the first fracture after the vehicle crash.

As can be seen, with aggravated injury cases, successful outcomes are accomplished by a close study of the medical records and by working with the victim’s physicians to legally demonstrate that an existing medical condition was, in fact, worsened because of the defendant’s negligence.

Mansfield Melancon Attorneys can Help: Call Today

If you have been the victim of a vehicle crash, contact the Louisiana car accident attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have proven experience with many types of car accidents and personal injury cases. We also know how to get the maximum recovery in pre-existing injury cases. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page. We understand that personal injury accidents can be catastrophic and life-changing. We also understand that the injuries you suffer not only affect you, but also your loved ones. Call us. We can help.