Defending your company against unjustified personal injury claims is a critical part of protecting your financial assets. Unscrupulous individuals may attempt to extract a settlement from your business by claiming that they were injured on your premises or as a result of your company’s actions when their injuries are actually the result of pre-existing conditions. Your personal injury defense attorney will work with you to uncover the truth of the matter and to provide you with the best representation for your company in New Jersey courts of law.
Understanding Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are dependent on the plaintiff’s ability to prove that his or her injuries or illnesses are directly resulting from the actions or negligence of the defendant. In many cases, however, these injuries are actually the result of other medical conditions that were present before the date of the injury or the diagnosis of an illness. For example, back problems that were diagnosed before an auto accident were obviously not caused by that accident. Your personal injury defense attorney will typically investigate the claims of the plaintiff in these cases to determine the facts of the matter and to build the best defense for you and your family. If pre-existing conditions exist, they could help your team prove that the injuries claimed were not caused by the accident.
Common Types of Pre-Existing Conditions
Both illnesses and injuries can be categorized as pre-existing conditions that could affect the outcome of a personal injury claim against your company. Some of the most commonly reported pre-existing conditions include the following:
• Back injuries, including damage to the spinal cord or column and degenerative disc diseases
• Depression and other mental issues
• High blood pressure and heart disease
• A history of neck injuries or whiplash issues
• Diseases of the lungs, including asthma, lung cancer and other maladies
Your defense attorney will determine to what extent the alleged accidents or environmental conditions were responsible for the injuries or illnesses claimed by the plaintiff in your case. By taking a methodical approach to collecting evidence, your defense team will be able to present the best possible rebuttal to the claims of the plaintiff and to protect your business against these types of legal actions. This can minimize your legal exposure and, in some cases, could result in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims.
The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine
One way in which pre-existing conditions can complicate your New Jersey personal injury defense is through the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine. Established by a 1940 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court and cited as precedent in many other states, the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine states that even if pre-existing conditions made the injuries incurred in an accident worse than they might otherwise have been, then the defendant can be held liable for the worsening of the pre-existing condition as well as any other injuries incurred by the plaintiff. Working with a qualified and experienced personal injury defense attorney is the most effective strategy for countering the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine, minimizing your financial liability and ensuring the best possible outcome for your legal case.
The Di Lauri & Hewitt Law Group offers practical and effective defense representation for individuals, property owners and businesses in New Jersey. Our team has the proven experience needed to represent you in personal injury cases brought against you personally or against your company. We work with you to determine the facts of the case and to present the best defense possible for your situation. Call us today at (973) 343-5736 to schedule a consultation with us. Our team is here to serve your needs.