Preexisting injury and conditions refer to a person’s medical state before an accident they are making a claim about. In the context of a Florida accident, victims may face challenges recovering compensation after they suffer aggravation to an existing injury. At-fault parties may refute liability and responsibility for damages by arguing that the victim’s injuries were unrelated to the accident.
Accident victims with preexisting conditions should consult with an attorney to ensure that they recover the compensation they deserve. An attorney can collect relevant evidence and present a compelling case for damages. The failure to gather relevant evidence such as medical records, expert witness testimony, and employment records may limit the amount a person can recover.
For example, a Florida district court recently issued a decision in an appeal involving a Florida uninsured motorist claim. According to the record, the injury victim suffered injuries in a collision between her car and another vehicle. She contended that the accident and her injuries were caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”). The insurance company appealed the trial court’s order that allowed the victim to argue and present evidence for aggravation of preexisting injuries.
The insurance company retained a doctor to perform the victim’s compulsory medical exam (“CME”). The doctor concluded that the victim’s headaches and neck and back pain were unrelated to the accident. The victim did not include a claim for special damages; instead, she merely claimed that “as a result of this crash,” she experienced “significant and permanent loss, injury and damages.”
Under the law, pleadings safeguard due process “by ensuring that the parties will have prior, meaningful notice of the claims, defenses, rights, and obligations that will be at issue when they come before a court.” Further, special damages do not necessarily result from a wrong, even though they might naturally and proximately result from the injury. In Florida, if special damages are not specially pled, the evidence of them is inadmissible. An exception exists only if the unpled issue is tried with the parties’ consent. Here, in light of the insurance company’s repeated objections and initial requests, there is no support for the assertion that the issue was tried by consent. Thus, the court found that the trial court erred in permitting the unpled claim for aggravation damages. Moreover, the district court found that the trial court erred in allowing evidence of the aggravation of preexisting injuries.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries after a Florida car accident, contact Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada for assistance with your claim. In addition to Florida car accident cases, our office handles other lawsuits involving premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and nursing home negligence and abuse. We understand the financial, emotional, and medical toll that accidents can have on victims and their loved ones. Our attorneys possess the skills, resources, and knowledge necessary to represent Florida accident victims successfully. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.