Yes, you may file a claim for damages in a truck accident case if you sustained new injuries or your preexisting condition was aggravated in the crash. The insurers of the defendants in the case, however, will try to use your preexisting condition as a defense to deny you fair compensation. The truck crash attorneys at the Derrick Law Firm will work to assist you and help you recover damages in such a case.
Preexisting Injuries and Conditions
A defendant's insurance company might try to blame your current medical issues on a preexisting injury or condition to dispute, devalue, or deny your damages claim.
- Muscles strains
- Joint sprains
- Neck injuries
- Previously fractured bones
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Migraine headaches
- Cardiovascular disease
- Degenerative disc disease
- Psychological conditions such as depression or PTSD
The "Eggshell Skull" Rule
If you have any of the injuries or conditions above when you're hurt in a truck crash, your case should fall under the "eggshell skull" rule. The eggshell skull rule, also known as the thin-skull rule, is a legal doctrine in personal injury claims that holds a defendant liable for the full extent of harm caused to a plaintiff, even if the plaintiff had a preexisting condition or vulnerability that made them more susceptible to injury than an average person. In other words, the defendant must take the injured person as they are, "like an eggshell skull," and is responsible for all damages resulting from their negligence, including exacerbating preexisting conditions. This rule emphasizes the principle of fairness and ensures that defendants cannot escape liability by claiming that the plaintiff's unique vulnerabilities played a role in their injuries.
This rule applies to truck accident cases in South Carolina. If the actions of the defendant(s) left you in a worse condition than you were in before the crash, you're entitled to recover compensation for the worsening of your health. Proving your damages, however, is not easy when a preexisting condition is present. In order to prevail and recover damages from the defendant(s), you must prove that the truck accident either caused new injuries that you did not have before or aggravated a preexisting injury or condition that is now worse due to the accident.
Why You Should Contact A Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer
If you had a preexisting condition at the time of the accident, proving that you now have medical issues you did not have before the truck crash generally requires the services of an experienced truck crash lawyer. Your attorney can examine your medical records, consult with your doctors, present your medical evidence convincingly, and call in expert medical witnesses to testify or submit statements on your behalf if necessary.
Your lawyer can also calculate your non-economic damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering, in order to evaluate your claim. Doing so is a complex task when a preexisting injury or condition is present and could be difficult to handle on your own, especially when you are recovering from a wreck. Your attorney can work to demand reasonable compensation from insurers and negotiate to obtain fair settlements.
You Might Have Claims Against More Than One Defendant
In an accident caused by a commercial truck, the truck driver might not be the only defendant responsible for your damages. You might also have a claim against one or more of the following parties.
The trucking company is vicariously liable for the actions of its drivers when they're on the job. Trucking companies are required to carry liability insurance with very high coverage limits because truck accident claims are likely to be expensive.
If faulty equipment, such as the truck's brake system or lights, played a part in your wreck, you could have a claim against the manufacturer of the truck or the manufacturer of a replacement part that was installed on the truck.
A Repair Service
You might also have a claim against a mechanic or repair service that failed to maintain the truck's safe operating condition.
Loading Dock Personnel
If the truck's cargo was improperly loaded, it might have shifted or become unsecured, affecting the trucker's ability to handle the truck. In such a case, you could have a claim against whoever did the loading.
A Government Agency
Poor road conditions and faulty or missing traffic signals or signage sometimes contribute to truck accidents. If this was the case in your wreck, you could have a claim against the government department or agency responsible for maintaining the road and its traffic signals.
Your truck accident lawyer will know how to investigate your accident, identify liable parties, determine their percentages of fault, demand fair compensation from each, negotiate with various insurers for reasonable settlements, and file multiple lawsuits if acceptable awards are not offered.