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What If a Car Accident Made My Pre-Existing Injury Worse?

Posted on May 17, 2022 in Car Accidents

Dallas car accident lawyerCar accidents can easily exacerbate an existing injury. Those who are already recovering from an acute injury or managing a chronic injury may be particularly vulnerable during a motor vehicle crash. If a negligent driver hit you and managed to make an injury you already had worse, you may be wondering how your claim will work.

The good news is that even if you were already hurt, the at-fault driver is still responsible for the change in your condition. They cannot escape liability by arguing that you already had an injury if their actions worsened it in any way. Handling your claim may be just a little bit more complicated, as you will need to calculate the costs and expenses associated with the exacerbation. It is important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in this case. 

What is the Eggshell Skull Rule?

In law, there is something called the Eggshell Skull rule to address exactly the type of situation where a negligent defendant has worsened the plaintiff’s existing condition or injury. Generally, the rule is that when someone carelessly injures another person, they are responsible for the entire amount of harm that they caused, even if the victim was particularly susceptible due to an existing condition. 

For a simple example, assume that Bob has a herniated disc when Joe rear-ends him. If Bob did not have an existing back injury, he probably would have walked away from the accident unharmed. However, because Bob does have that herniated disc, he ends up needing back surgery and will suffer from chronic pain for the rest of his life. 

Under the Eggshell Skull rule, Joe is responsible for Bob’s back surgery and lifelong pain because that is the amount of harm Joe caused to Bob. When Joe drove carelessly and rear-ended Bob, he took the risk that the person he hit might be more vulnerable than most. 

How Are Damages Calculated When an Existing Injury is Worsened?

These calculations are best handled by a lawyer. You can recover financial compensation for any costs associated with your change in condition. For example, if before the accident you were going to physical therapy every other week, but after the accident you must now go twice a week, the at-fault driver is responsible for the extra physical therapy sessions. 

Call a Dallas County Car Accident Lawyer

Jerry D. Andrews, P.C. is skilled at handling cases where an existing injury was made worse by a negligent driver. Our experienced Dallas car accident attorneys will fight for you to receive compensation that covers every extra cost. Call us at 214-221-5800 for a free consultation. 



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