April 11, 2024

The Impact of Pre-Existing Conditions on a Slip-and-Fall Case

Slip-and-fall accidents can cause injuries if you’re totally healthy, but if you have pre-existing conditions, the outcome of those accidents is often much worse. You could end up in serious pain or even develop a lifelong disability that keeps you from working.

Are you eligible for compensation after a slip-and-fall accident if you have pre-existing conditions? The answer depends. A Georgia slip-and-fall attorney at The Foster Firm explains how a pre-existing condition impacts your personal injury case.

Why Pre-Existing Conditions Can Be Problematic in a Slip-and-Fall Claim

The main problem with pre-existing conditions is that the property owner’s defense attorneys often try to use them against you in a slip-and-fall case. They’ll say that you were injured before you fell, so the property owner doesn’t owe you compensation.

The defense attorney will fight hard to minimize their client’s liability. With the help of a good personal injury lawyer, though, you may be able to win a settlement that covers your damages. Your settlement could include compensation for:

  • All accident-related medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • The cost of home modifications to accommodate your injury or disability

Can You Seek Compensation If You Have Pre-Existing Conditions?

Georgia follows the “eggshell plaintiff” legal theory when it comes to pre-existing conditions. This theory is so named because even if a plaintiff is “delicate,” like an eggshell, the defendant is still responsible for injuries that happened on their property.

This means that a property owner can’t use your pre-existing condition as a way to minimize their liability. With an experienced trip-and-fall lawyer, you can recover damages for new injuries, injuries that happened due to your pre-existing condition, and worsening of your pre-existing condition.

It also doesn’t matter if you were aware of the pre-existing condition or not. For instance, let’s say you have regular backaches and just assumed it was a normal part of aging. After a fall, your back pain becomes intolerable. You go to the doctor and learn that you have a condition called spinal stenosis.

Under the law, you can seek compensation for the worsening of your spinal stenosis even though you were previously unaware that you had the condition.

How to Approach a Slip-and-Fall Case If You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

If you have a pre-existing condition, the first thing you should do is inform your accident injury attorney about it. Don’t try to hide the condition from your slip-and-fall legal counsel, as doing so can come back to bite you. Your lawyer will be at a disadvantage if the defendant’s insurance company discovers the condition first.

Also consider when your pre-existing condition developed before the slip-and-fall accident. If you had an injury decades ago and haven’t sought treatment for it since, your condition may be irrelevant to this case no matter what the defense says.

If your pre-existing condition developed recently, your premises liability attorney can request treatment records proving that the accident made your condition worse. For instance, before-and-after X-ray images can serve as excellent proof.

Haven’t seen a doctor yet? Make an appointment now. If you skip medical treatment, your attorney will have no way to prove that the slip-and-fall accident worsened your injury. The insurance company might reduce your settlement or even deny your claim.

Speak With a Premises Accident Lawyer in Georgia

Have you slipped in a restaurant or taken a tumble in the grocery store? If the property owner refuses to pay up because of your pre-existing conditions, reach out to a Georgia slip-and-fall attorney from The Foster Firm today.The Foster Firm has won settlements for slip-and-fall clients over the past 25 years, and we’d love to do the same for you. Reach out to us at (404) 975-4630 for a free consultation.