Generally speaking, the purpose of damages in a personal injury claim is to place the victim of negligence in their pre-accident position, as much as may be possible with money.
However, when that person has a pre-existing condition, the assessment of damages can become complicated. Since a defendant will only be held liable for damages they caused, a plaintiff must prove that their injuries and any ongoing disability or losses were the result of the defendant’s negligence.
The thin skull rule
When a person is negligent, they are expected to “take their victim as they find them,” which is known as the thin skull rule.
If the victim of an accident had a stable, or unknown, health condition that resulted in a more severe or catastrophic outcome, they must still be compensated to the full extent of their injuries. A defendant cannot escape liability, as long as their negligence was the legal cause of the resulting injury.
The crumbling skull rule
However, there is no obligation for a negligent party to compensate their victims for any loss or injury that would have happened in any event.
Where someone has a degenerative, or otherwise unstable, pre-existing condition that would be expected to worsen over time, they will not be compensated to that extent. Any treatment or medical care that would be required for the degenerative condition would not be compensated by the defendant.
Dedicated Toronto lawyers for personal injury claims involving pre-existing conditions
When a personal injury claim involves a pre-existing condition, you need advice from lawyers with experience handling serious and complex claims. At Jasmine Daya & Co., we can advise personal injury victims about the implications of a pre-existing condition, and have over forty years of experience helping our clients fight for compensation after a serious injury.
We offer free consultations to new clients. You can contact us online, or call our office at 416-967-9100 to make an appointment.