Pre-Existing Conditions and recent appellate case Harper Law was successful in upholding

Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 by Ed Harper

Recently, Harper Law was involved in an appeal filed by the defense attorney after a substantial verdict. One of the arguments raised on appeal centered around the issue of a injury being non-symptomatic or asymptomatic (without symptoms) at the time of the wreck.

The issue of whether an accident caused a new condition or was merely an old condition made worse often focuses on the legal term “proximate cause”. Arguments by attorneys revolved around whether a crash caused a problem if the plaintiff had a pre-existing condition, namely bad pain prior to the date of the injury. The issue hinges on whether the pre-existing condition was symptomatic at the time of the collision.

“The rule is that when a latent (not obvious) condition does not cause pain, suffering, or a disability, but that condition plus an injury brings on pain or disability by aggravating the preexisting condition and making it active, then the injury, and not the dormant condition, is the proximate cause of the pain and disability.” Bennet v. Messick.

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