What if the Deceased Had a Pre-Existing Condition? Navigating Wrongful Death Claims

Introduction: Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions is a devastating experience. When pursuing a wrongful death claim, questions and concerns often arise, especially if the deceased had a pre-existing medical condition. In this blog, we will explore how pre-existing conditions are considered in wrongful death claims and what you need to know if you find yourself in such a situation.

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions:

A pre-existing medical condition refers to a health issue that an individual had before the incident that led to their wrongful death. These conditions can vary widely, from chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease to previous injuries or ailments.

How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Wrongful Death Claims:

  1. The “Eggshell Plaintiff” Rule: In personal injury law, including wrongful death cases, there is a legal principle known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. This rule states that a defendant must take the plaintiff as they find them, including any pre-existing conditions. In essence, the responsible party is liable for the full extent of the harm caused, even if the deceased was more susceptible to injury due to their pre-existing condition.
  2. Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions: If the negligent actions of the responsible party aggravated or worsened the pre-existing condition, it can be considered in a wrongful death claim. For example, if a car accident led to complications or accelerated the progression of a pre-existing heart condition, the responsible party could be held accountable for those additional damages.
  3. Proving Causation: In wrongful death claims, establishing causation is essential. The plaintiff, often represented by a wrongful death attorney, must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were a substantial factor in causing the death. This means showing a direct link between the wrongful actions and the fatal outcome, even if a pre-existing condition was present.

Challenges in Wrongful Death Claims with Pre-Existing Conditions:

While it is possible to pursue a wrongful death claim when the deceased had a pre-existing condition, there can be challenges:

  1. Evidence and Expert Testimony: Plaintiffs may need to provide medical records, expert witnesses, and other evidence to establish the connection between the defendant’s actions and the exacerbation of the pre-existing condition.
  2. Defendant’s Defense: The defendant may argue that the pre-existing condition was the primary cause of death, not their actions. This can lead to complex legal battles and disputes over causation.
  3. Insurance Companies: Insurance companies representing the defendant may attempt to minimize the claim by emphasizing the pre-existing condition. It is crucial to have a skilled wrongful death attorney who can advocate for your rights and ensure fair compensation.

Having a pre-existing condition should not deter you from pursuing a wrongful death claim if your loved one’s death resulted from someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. The “eggshell plaintiff” rule and the possibility of aggravation of pre-existing conditions offer legal avenues for seeking justice and compensation. To navigate these complexities, it is advisable to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can evaluate the specifics of your case, gather evidence, and advocate on your behalf. Ultimately, the goal is to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and secure the compensation needed to address the losses and damages suffered due to the wrongful death.

Call The Dashner Law Firm For Help With Your Wrongful Death Case

If you have recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. The experienced Irving wrongful death lawyers attorneys at The Dashner Law Firm can help. We understand the pain and suffering that you are going through and we will fight for the justice your loved one deserves. Wrongful death claims can be complex and difficult to win. However, with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you stand a much better chance of success. If you are looking for a wrongful death attorney in Texas call The Dashner Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and advise you of your legal options. Let us help

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