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Can I still claim for personal injuries if I have a pre-existing condition?

View profile for Katie Plappert
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Most people are aware that if they have been injured in an accident which was caused by someone else’s negligence then they are entitled to claim compensation. But what if they were already struggling with symptoms or a pre-existing condition before the accident happened?

Claims of this nature are more complex and it is always best to seek specialist independent legal advice. In general, you are entitled to claim for any injury that has been caused as a direct result of the accident. This can include symptoms that have been made worse (exacerbated) or brought forward (accelerated) as a result of an accident.

In these types of claims it is understandably more difficult to tell which symptoms are accident-related but it is still possible to bring a claim. As with any personal injury claim, a medico-legal expert will be instructed to prepare a report. The expert will require sight of your medical records so that he or she can properly understand your symptoms, and also consider any relevant X-rays, scans or other investigations. Following an examination the expert will then be able to give an opinion as to what symptoms have been caused by the accident, and for what period.

Even if the injuries suffered as a result of an accident are more severe due to a pre-existing condition, the defendant will still be liable for the injury caused. This is due to a well-established legal doctrine called the ‘eggshell skull’ rule. This rule dictates that the defendant must take their victim as they find them, even if that means the effect of the accident is worse than would usually be expected.

Whether or not you have pre-existing symptoms, if you have been injured in an accident our specialist personal injury solicitors are able to help. Call us on 01616 966 229 for advice.