Can I Sue Someone for Personal Injury if I Have a Preexisting Injury?

December 15, 2019

Washington law requires that when someone injures another person due to their negligence, the at-fault person must pay them compensation for their injuries. If the victim has a preexisting injury, then the law doesn’t prohibit the victim from claiming any new injuries, but they have the burden of proving that any injuries came from the current accident and not from something else.

While a pre-existing injury doesn’t stop someone from claiming compensation for a subsequent accident, the law doesn’t allow recovery for an old injury that had nothing to do with the current accident.

What if there is a Re-injury?

However, if a new accident re-injured an old injury, then the law will require the at-fault person to pay for all medical bills related to the new injury—even if these bills were higher because of the preexisting injury.

For example, let’s say someone has a broken leg, and it’s in a cast and they get in an accident that rebroke the leg that hadn’t fully healed. Except now they need to do surgery because of the new accident which wouldn’t be necessary if not for the previously broken leg, then all of the costs related to the surgery and treatment can be sought against the new at-fault driver.

The Eggshell Rule

There is a well-established rule that when someone injures another person due to their negligence, they “take their victim as they find them.” This means that if the person is already injured or is just in very poor health and even a slight accident brings severe injuries, then the at-fault person is liable for all damages.

This is also called the eggshell rule meaning that if a person is fragile, and you injure them, you still have to pay for all of their injuries and damages.

Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer.

Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.


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