Stop! If you have been in an accident followed by renewed or increased pain in a previous injury or chronic affliction, don’t automatically give up your rights. You may have a perfectly logical and legitimate claim. Just because your ‘trick knee’ or chronic pain in the neck has been made worse by an accident, don’t assume you have not really been victimized. Georgia law may still have you covered.
Pre-Existing Conditions That Activated Because of an Accident
The case of Hutcheson v. Daniels, 224 Ga. App. 560 (1997), demonstrates that you have the right to recover if your pre-existing conditions were worsened by someone else’s negligence. In the spring of 1991, an automobile collision caused the plaintiff’s existing hernia and carpal tunnel injuries to re-surface causing pain and creating the need for medical care.
The plaintiff had been treated previously for each of these conditions and both were previously resolved. The plaintiff had not had pain from either condition for a matter of years
The defendant in this case expected the Court to grant him a directed verdict – one that is rendered by the presiding judge and not given to the jury for deliberation – on both injuries. Defendant claimed that the injuries were not caused by the collision, but were old injuries. Additionally, attorneys for the defense did not believe the jury was qualified to determine whether or not the injuries were, in fact, a result of the collision. The judge denied defense’s motion for directed verdict.
The Conclusion of the Case
The jury found that the new pain was undoubtedly caused by the collision.
The defendant appealed.
The Appellate Court established that when an injury follows an accident and it is noticed soon thereafter without there being a significant lapse of time between the accident and the onset of symptoms, the cause can be determined by the jury even without the testimony of expert witnesses.
The Appellate Judge found no reason for the jury’s conclusion to be questioned or the trial judge’s decisions to be overturned.
How Injury Cases Work With Appellate Courts
When a case has been dissected by the Appellate Court as this one was one can easily see that the law in Georgia attempts always to consider each case from all angles. Our laws are based on good sense and straightforward thinking. Unfortunately, many lay-folk imagine that their pre-existing injury will disqualify them from compensation. They could be wrong.
Making decisions about a civil case without the help of a qualified attorney is just like removing your own appendix without the help of a surgeon. It’s not likely to obtain satisfactory results. Put down your scalpel and call The Millar Law Firm today for a review of the facts in your case.