The Impact of Pre-Existing Conditions on Maryland Personal Injury Cases

When it comes to personal injury cases, the presence of pre-existing conditions can significantly impact the outcome and compensation awarded to the injured party. Maryland, like many other jurisdictions, grapples with the complexities of determining liability and damages when a plaintiff has a pre-existing condition. Understanding the implications of pre-existing conditions on personal injury cases is crucial for both plaintiffs and defendants involved in legal proceedings. This article will explore the impact of pre-existing conditions on Maryland personal injury cases, highlighting key considerations and legal principles.

Defining Pre-Existing ConditionsThe Impact of Pre-Existing Conditions on Maryland Personal Injury Cases

A pre-existing condition refers to any illness, injury, or medical condition that existed before an accident or incident occurred. These conditions can range from chronic diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis, to previous injuries like a fractured bone. It is essential to note that a pre-existing condition does not automatically absolve the defendant of liability, nor does it prevent the plaintiff from seeking compensation for the injuries sustained in the accident.

Causation and Aggravation

One of the critical factors in personal injury cases involving pre-existing conditions is determining causation and assessing the degree of aggravation caused by the accident. Maryland follows the “eggshell skull” rule, which means that a defendant is responsible for the full extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, even if they are more severe due to a pre-existing condition. In other words, defendants must take plaintiffs as they find them, regardless of any pre-existing vulnerabilities or conditions.

The plaintiff must establish a causal link between the accident and the exacerbation of their pre-existing condition. This often requires expert medical testimony to demonstrate that the accident directly caused the worsening of symptoms or resulted in additional injuries. Additionally, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor contributing to the aggravation.

The “Thin Skull” and “Last-Straw” Doctrines

Maryland also recognizes the “thin skull” doctrine, which holds that a defendant is liable for all injuries caused to a plaintiff, even if they are more severe than what a typical person would experience. This principle ensures that defendants are accountable for the unique susceptibility of an injured individual, regardless of pre-existing conditions.

Maryland follows the “last-straw” doctrine, which asserts that a defendant is responsible for any aggravation or worsening of a pre-existing condition, even if the injury might have occurred anyway due to the condition. As long as the defendant’s negligence was the final event that pushed the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition over the edge, they can be held liable for the resulting damages.

Mitigation of Damages

In personal injury cases involving pre-existing conditions, defendants often argue that the plaintiff’s damages should be reduced based on the concept of mitigation. Defendants may claim that the plaintiff failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate their injuries by seeking appropriate medical treatment or following medical advice promptly. However, Maryland law recognizes that plaintiffs are not required to undergo extraordinary or experimental treatments to mitigate their damages.

Comparative Negligence

Maryland follows a pure comparative negligence system, allowing plaintiffs to recover compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident. In cases involving pre-existing conditions, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff’s negligence or contribution to their own injuries should reduce the amount of damages awarded. Under comparative negligence, the court assigns a percentage of fault to each party involved, and the plaintiff’s compensation is reduced accordingly.

Pre-existing conditions can undoubtedly complicate personal injury cases in Maryland. However, they do not automatically absolve defendants of liability. The key factors in determining the impact of pre-existing conditions on personal injury cases include causation, aggravation, the “thin skull” and “last-straw” doctrines, mitigation of damages, and comparative negligence. As each case is unique, it is crucial to consult with experienced personal injury attorneys who can navigate these complexities and advocate for fair compensation on behalf of injured plaintiffs.

How Alpert Schreyer, LLC Can Help You with a Personal Injury case in Maryland

At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, we understand the intricate legal landscape surrounding personal injury cases involving pre-existing conditions in Maryland. Our dedicated team of experienced personal injury attorneys is well-versed in the complexities of these cases and can provide valuable assistance to individuals seeking compensation for their injuries. Here’s how we can help:

Experienced Legal Guidance: Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of Maryland personal injury laws and the specific considerations related to pre-existing conditions. We can provide you with clear and comprehensive legal guidance tailored to your unique situation, ensuring you understand your rights, options, and the potential impact of your pre-existing condition on your case.

Thorough Case Evaluation: We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your case, including a detailed analysis of your pre-existing condition and its relationship to the accident or incident that caused your injuries. Our team will work closely with medical specialists to establish a clear causal link between the accident and the aggravation of your pre-existing condition, strengthening your case.

Building a Strong Case: We will gather all the necessary evidence, including medical records, skilled testimonies, accident reports, and any other relevant documentation to support your claim. Our skilled attorneys will meticulously construct a compelling case on your behalf, highlighting the defendant’s negligence as the contributing factor to your worsened condition.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, especially when pre-existing conditions are involved. Our firm has extensive experience negotiating with insurance providers, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. We will advocate for fair compensation based on the exacerbation of your pre-existing condition and the impact it has had on your life.

Litigation and Court Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, we are fully prepared to litigate your case in court. Our attorneys are seasoned litigators with a track record of success in personal injury trials. We will present a strong and persuasive argument on your behalf, leveraging the “thin skull” and “last-straw” doctrines, as well as other legal principles, to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

Compassionate Support: We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that personal injuries and pre-existing conditions can have on your life. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate support throughout the legal process, offering guidance, answering your questions, and alleviating any concerns you may have. We will be by your side, advocating for your best interests every step of the way.

At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, we are committed to helping individuals navigate the complexities of personal injury cases involving pre-existing conditions in Maryland. Our firm’s extensive experience, legal experience, and unwavering dedication make us the trusted advocates you need to seek fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a confidential consultation and let us fight for your rights.