What If I Suffer Injuries Much Worse Than a “Normal” or Different Person Would Have Suffered in the Same Motor Vehicle Accident? Can I Still Recover My Full Injuries and Damages Suffered in that Virginia Motor Vehicle Accident?
Under Virginia law, a negligent driver is responsible for the consequences of his or her actions. This means that he or she is responsible for all of the injuries, losses and damages caused to a victim of his or her negligence. This is true regardless of whether the injuries and damages the accident victim suffered would have been different if suffered by someone who was older, younger, a different gender, or any other personal characteristic an accident victim could possibly have. Simply put, if the accident victim suffered an injury or loss as a result of the motorist’s negligent actions, then the accident victim is permitted to recover from that motorist for those injuries or losses.
Virginia’s “Eggshell Plaintiff” Rule
Under Virginia law, the motorist that injured you in a motor vehicle accident takes you as they find you. This is commonly known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule when it is taught to aspiring lawyers in law school. What this means is that, if the negligent motorist paralyzed an accident victim in an accident due to an extremely rare pre-existing condition the accident victim had, the negligent motorist is still responsible for all the injuries and damages associated with his or her actions. This also means that, regardless of what injuries some hypothetical other person might have suffered in the same accident, the motorist in this hypothetical scenario is on the hook under Virginia law for the exacerbation of that rare pre-existing condition the accident victim had prior to the accident. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that, if someone has pre-existing medical or health conditions that are exacerbated by injuries suffered in a personal injury scenario, then the person whose negligence that caused that exacerbation is responsible for whatever exacerbation of those pre-existing injuries he or she caused. In the words of the Virginia Supreme Court, “It is axiomatic that a defendant who causes injuries to a plaintiff with a preexisting condition must take the plaintiff as he finds him. Although not responsible for the preexisting condition itself, he is liable for any exacerbation of it caused by his tortious conduct.”
The other driver can theoretically attempt to argue that you should not be awarded full compensation for your injuries because some other person may not have suffered the same injuries as you, but this is a fool’s errand. It only makes the other driver and his or her client look mean-spirited because they are trying to avoid the consequences of that driver’s own actions in injuring you. You can expect that the other side will ferociously contest the evidence and testimony that you present to the jury regarding the extent and nature of your injuries, but ultimately it is likely to be poorly received by a jury if a negligent motorist causes someone to suffer injuries and then tries to tell the jury that the victim of her negligence did not suffer the injuries as a result of the accident, but those injuries are instead due to some pre-existing condition the accident victim had. This is where an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney like the attorneys of Kalfus & Nachman can utilize time and trial-tested techniques to completely disprove the defense’s case as to exacerbation of any pre-existing injuries from the motor vehicle accident.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman
At Kalfus & Nachman, our experienced Virginia motor vehicle accident attorneys have dealt with defense attorneys who have made the mistake of trying to argue our clients should be awarded less than the actual injuries and damages the client suffered in a motor vehicle accident as a result of the other driver’s negligence because the client had a pre-existing health or medical condition. We work with a very experienced and credible team of expert witnesses and utilize our clients’ own treating healthcare professionals to prove that the negligent motorist’s actions, was responsible for the client’s injuries. Our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys have recovered millions in compensation for our clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Therefore, if you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident or in any other scenario, then please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone today at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation regarding your particular situation.