Passenger in Louisiana Accident Obtains $42K Judgment Despite Pre-Existing Injury

When you have a pre-existing condition and are injured in a vehicle accident, you’ll likely have to overcome the insurance company’s argument that your injuries resulted from your old injury, rather than the vehicle accident. That’s what one person faced, but he secured a favorable verdict at trial, and the Louisiana Court of Appeal upheld that damages award. In this man’s case, the award stood because he had proof that his damages were the result of certain new injuries and the exacerbation of old injuries.

The accident took place after a truck owner decided to tow another man’s truck from Hessmer to Marksville using tow rope. The owner of the inoperable truck rode inside his vehicle to steer and brake it. While traveling down the Marksville Highway, the men encountered an intersection and a woman (who had allegedly run a stop sign) pulling onto the highway from the intersecting street. The driver of the lead truck avoided hitting the woman, but the towed truck rear-ended the lead truck.

One of the plaintiffs who sued for his injuries was the passenger in the lead truck. In his situation, the man had multiple possible people who might be liable for his injuries, since there were three drivers involved, either directly or indirectly, in the accident. The jury ultimately ruled in favor of the passenger, awarding him $35,000 in general damages and $7,000 in medical expenses.

An appeal followed, but the appeals court upheld the jury’s award to the man. The woman’s insurer had tried unsuccessfully to defeat the damages award by showing that the plaintiff had suffered a back injury at work, had undergone two surgeries, and was still seeing a doctor for pain management. With this evidence, the insurer argued that it was unreasonable for the jury not to ascribe more of the plaintiff’s damages to his old work injury, as opposed to the accident.

The appeals court rejected this argument because the plaintiff had ample proof to allow the jury to enter the verdict it did. The plaintiff’s medical records showed that his complaints of neck and shoulder pain only started after the recent accident. While he did have a previous work injury, the plaintiff’s doctor offered testimonial evidence that the vehicle accident exacerbated his pre-existing low-back problems.

The same was true regarding the plaintiff’s medical expenses award for prescription drugs he was taking. While he was already taking prescription painkillers for his pre-existing injury, the plaintiff had proof that the crash created an exacerbation of his injuries, and the prescriptions were related to that exacerbation.

When you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Louisiana, there are lots of things that you’ll have to address. Were there multiple drivers involved in the accident? If yes, whom should you sue? Did the accident cause you to suffer a new injury, or did it worsen an injury you already had? Will your pre-existing condition harm your chances of recovery? For answers to these and all of your other essential questions about your accident, talk to the Louisiana car accident attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm. Our attorneys have spent many years helping people injured in vehicle accidents and are ready to speak to you about your case.

For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.

More Blog Posts:

French Quarter Accident: When Truck and Carriage Collide, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 10, 2016

Louisiana Court Sides With Injured Driver Despite Discrepancies in Description of Car Accident, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, July 21, 2016

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