Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys
Age and pre-existing conditions have the potential to substantially complicate personal injury cases. For example, two people slip on a patch of ice in front of a business. While one person’s injuries are minor, the other person, who happened to have severe osteoporosis, suffered multiple breaks. That difference alone can dramatically affect the damage values in the two cases. We asked legal experts to offer their thoughts on how these factors determine injury settlements and here’s what they had to say:
Marcus Fernandez

Marcus Fernandez

Attorney & Co-Owner at KFB Law.

Medical Testimony is Key to Separate Accident Injuries from Pre-Existing Conditions

In personal injury law, factors such as age and pre-existing conditions significantly impact case values. A claimant’s age can influence the assessment of both past and future damages. For instance, a younger person with a severe injury may claim a higher compensation due to the longer period of suffering or reduced quality of life. They might have substantial future lost earnings, given the significant remaining years of their working life that the injury may affect. Conversely, an elderly person might face a lessened claim due to fewer years of foreseeable suffering and reduced future losses.

Pre-existing conditions, on the other hand, pose a different challenge. They don’t necessarily devalue a case, but they complicate it. It’s paramount to distinguish injuries caused by the incident from the symptoms of the pre-existing condition.

Often, defense attorneys use pre-existing conditions to downgrade the compensation, arguing that the claimant’s distress is due to those rather than the incident in question. However, under tort law, the eggshell skull rule states that you take your victim as you find them, meaning a defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s unforeseen injuries stemming from a pre-existing condition. It’s crucial to render solid medical testimony to separate the effects of the accident from pre-existing conditions to ensure victims get a fair settlement.

Age Can Affect Compensation; Pre-Existing Conditions Adds Complexity

Age and pre-existing conditions, for example, might have a big impact on how much a case is worth. These elements are taken into account while determining damages in judicial proceedings. Age can have an impact on future earning potential, medical costs, and general quality of life, which can affect the compensation requested.

Pre-existing conditions can make things more difficult because it may be necessary to conduct a thorough investigation to identify how much of the current harm is caused by the pre-existing condition vs. the new incidence. Age and current medical issues can both influence the complexity of discussions and computations in legal matters, necessitating careful consideration to guarantee a just and accurate case evaluation.

Mitchell J. Panter

Mitchell J. Panter

Partner & Board-Certified Trial Attorney at Panter, Panter, & Sampedro, P.A.
Jonathan Garza

Jonathan Garza

Personal Injury Attorney, Herrman and Herrman PLLC.

Defendants Often Try to Link Injury to Age or Health Condition

As we all age, degenerative conditions affect our ability to live the same active lifestyle we were able to when we were young. Additionally, pre-existing conditions may make one more susceptible to reinjury in the same areas as before or affect recovery time. Neither negatively impacts a case and its potential value as these are decided on a case-by-case basis like everything else.

However, factors such as age and pre-existing conditions sometimes give more room to insurance companies to use as defenses to try and claim that the injuries are from pre-existing condition or age degenerative issues instead of from the incident, therefore de-valuing the case. A seasoned personal injury attorney has the experience to fight off these defense arguments, and litigation may become necessary depending on the level of the fight.

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