Pre-Existing Conditions and Car Accidents in North Carolina

May 14, 2021 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Pre-Existing Conditions and Car Accidents in North Carolina

“Can I Still File a Car Accident Injury Claim with a Preexisting Condition?”

Any motor vehicle accident can result in serious and even life-threatening injuries. Even the healthiest person’s life can be changed in an instant after a serious crash. Although most people deal with different health problems throughout their lives, sometimes a preexisting condition, or preexisting injury, is aggravated in a car accident.

Preexisting conditions can raise questions when it’s time to file a car accident claim. Many victims wonder, “What if a preexisting condition was aggravated in a car accident? Will insurance still cover my injuries?”

Yes, you can still file a claim for compensation even if a car accident "reactivated" a preexisting condition.

The short answer is yes, in most cases, a preexisting condition that is aggravated in a car accident should still be covered in an injury claim. However, insurance companies will often point to pre-existing conditions as a reason to minimize or deny a claim — and an experienced car accident attorney can help you fight for your right to fair compensation.

Disclosing Preexisting Conditions in Car Accident Injury Claims 

If you are involved in a car accident and you hire a lawyer, it is important to disclose any prior conditions that already existed at the time of your accident. When preexisting conditions are not divulged, the victim loses credibility. Not disclosing a preexisting condition could jeopardize your car accident injury claim and even expose you to legal action if the defense finds out about the exclusion.

In most cases, if you are injured in an accident, you should have adequate medical records to prove your preexisting medical condition has worsened since the accident.

We want to help you get the justice you deserve. In this article, we’ll cover some things to know about seeking compensation in a car accident claim when a preexisting condition has been re-aggravated.

How Does the Insurance Company Handle Pre-existing Conditions in Car Accident Injury Claims?

Sometimes, a preexisting condition makes someone more susceptible to injury in an auto accident. However, this does not mean they are less entitled to compensation. Insurance companies may try to use a preexisting condition as an excuse to minimize or deny a claim. This is wrong, and victims should know that they have legal rights to protect them in these situations.

If you’re struggling with an insurance claim due to a preexisting condition, call Riddle & Brantley at 1-800-525-7111 today. We will review your claim and let you know if we are able to help.  We have helped thousands of North Carolinians receive the justice they deserve.

Remember, there are no attorney fees and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless a car accident lawyer at Riddle & Brantley gets you the compensation you need and deserve.

The “Eggshell Skull” Doctrine in North Carolina

According to North Carolina’s “Eggshell Plaintiff Rule” (sometimes called the “Eggshell Skull” Rule or “Eggshell” Doctrine), a defendant can be held liable for all the plaintiff’s injuries — even if the plaintiff has a physical or mental pre-existing condition that makes them more susceptible to injury.

A victim’s frailty, weakness, sensitivity, or feebleness cannot be used as a defense in a personal injury claim. Many attorneys use the eggshell skill rule when an at-fault driver’s negligence aggravates a victims pre-existing condition or injury.

This concept can be important when an insurance company tries to downplay, minimize, or deny injury claims due to a pre-existing condition.

The Eggshell Skull doctrine is common law in North Carolina, meaning that while it is not explicitly written in statute, it is a doctrine based on legal precedent that is enforced by North Carolina courts.

Peculiar Susceptibility

There is another “common law” doctrine in North Carolina, however, called peculiar susceptibility. Under the “peculiar susceptibility” doctrine, if the accident would not have caused injury in any form to a person of “normal” susceptibility, the defendant is not necessarily liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Peculiar susceptibility is a defense sometimes used by insurance companies and defendants in North Carolina to evade accountability for injuries suffered by someone with pre-existing condition(s). This extremely complicated defense is yet another reason why those injured in a car accident should contact an experienced car accident attorney.

Has a Car Accident Aggravated Your Pre-Existing Condition?

$665 million recovered since 2000 alone.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and had a preexisting condition that was aggravated / “activated,” you may be entitled to compensation through an injury claim or lawsuit.

Our experienced injury lawyers would love to help you if we can. For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111. We are here to help. Justice Counts.

We know how insurance companies operate and are experienced in countering claims that preexisting conditions should disqualify victims from compensation.

Our Results

In one recent case, we represented a client whose preexisting back injury was re-aggravated when his vehicle was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer. Ultimately, our client was forced into early retirement because of the resulting injuries. Attorney Gene Riddle filed a lawsuit and negotiated a $750,000 settlement with the truck insurance company through mediation (see disclaimer below).

“Without the help from my team at Riddle & Brantley, I would not have won my case.”

Jonathan S., Riddle & Brantley client

As always, there are no upfront costs, and we don’t get paid unless you do. If we don’t recover compensation for you, you won’t pay any attorney fees. It’s as simple as that.

Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s review your claim.

We’ve recovered more than $665 million in compensation for our valued clients since 2000 alone (see disclaimer below), and we’d love to evaluate your claim and help you if we can.

Justice Counts for those with preexisting conditions that are aggravated in a car accident. Call 1-800-525-7111 or fill out the short form below and let’s see how we can help get you the compensation you deserve.

*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.