Can a motor vehicle accident claim be worth more because of scoliosis?

by Dee
(Killingworth, CT USA)

My son has scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and was rear ended back in October. He has been under his doctors care for scoliosis since Feb 2012.He wore a back brace from Feb 2012 until March 2014.In January he will have his 3rd visit to his doctor for the motor vehicle accident.

The accident: My son (16y/o) was rear ended my another 16 y/o. My son drives a 97 ford ranger and the other party a 90 something honda civic. I have pictures of both vehicles. The ranger had rear bumper damage $1250 (their insurance has already paid the full estimate) and the civic, the hood had to be tied down and was leaking anti-freeze.

The resident trooper never filed a police report and when I spoke with the trooper he said "the boys" said then would handle it. My son went through PT 8 visits over approximately 5 weeks.I currently have $1950.00 in medical expenses and the insurance company offered me a $3500.00 settlement.

I'm concerned with the scoliosis as the motor vehicle accident added insult to injury. How do I know what a fair settlement would be?

Answer by Guy Parrinello

I’m sorry to hear about your son’s injuries. I cannot give you advice specific to your case because I am not licensed in Connecticut. I can tell you this: there is a proposition in law called the “eggshell plaintiff.”

The eggshell plaintiff is someone who, because of a physical, mental or emotional condition, is more easily damaged than the average person. For these plaintiff’s, the law says that the defendant takes its plaintiff as he comes.

That means the defendant cannot argue that he is not responsible for the injuries caused by his negligence simply because the plaintiff was more susceptible to the injuries he caused.

Also, an accident victim can generally claim that injuries he or she had prior to the accident were exacerbated by the accident itself. Because of these propositions of law, your son is in no worse a position as a plaintiff than someone without a pre-existing condition. Similarly, your son is generally in no better a position than someone without a pre-existing condition.

As with any case, your son will be able to claim the injuries that were directly caused by the negligence of the other driver. If part of those injuries are exacerbation of scoliosis, or if the injuries in some other way are made more serious because of the scoliosis, then the claim might be worth more than the same injuries incurred by someone without out that type of pre-existing condition.

Medical records and perhaps testimony of a treating doctor will help in proving the connection between the injuries and the pre-existing condition.

My advice to you would be to consult a local injury attorney immediately. The consultation is usually free and the attorney’s expertise will likely help your son’s case.

Disclaimer: The author of this posting is a lawyer licensed to practice law in the State of New York. This posting is intended as general information only, is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship.

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