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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.

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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Minimizing The Effect Of Pre-Existing Injuries On Your Claim

by Gina Hill

When pursuing a personal injury claim, the respondent or his insurance company will do anything possible to deny or reduce your settlement. One way of doing this is to label all or most of your injuries as pre-existing. Although pre-existing injuries may limit your claim, there are steps to ensure the effect is fair to you. Here are the three major steps you need to take:

Prove Current Injuries As Independent Of Pre-existing Injuries

The value of your current injuries should only be affected if you sustained some of them in a previous accident or illness. Consider an example where you have a health condition characterized by back pain. If you sustain further back injuries in a car crash, then it may be difficult to know the extent of your back injury to attribute to the crash.

Contrast this with a situation where you have head injuries from a previous fall accident. If, in a current accident, you do not sustain any injuries to the limbs, then the head injury shouldn't affect your claim.

Proving the injuries as independent of each other should help you get the maximum settlement due to the current injuries. Comparing your previous treatment record and your current one should help you disapprove any link between the injuries.

Use Expert Testimony

If the respondent is using your medical history against you, then it's best to refute the claim using expert testimony. This is especially necessary if you are dealing with complicated injuries that are difficult for an average person to understand. The medical expert needs to convince the court that your current injuries are purely due to the current accident, and you couldn't have sustained them without the liable party's negligence.

Invoke the "Eggshell Skull"

Your previous injuries shouldn't affect your current ones only if the two are independent of each other. However, if the current accident has worsened the previous ones, then you deserve compensation for the complication. This is known as the "eggshell skull" doctrine. This doctrine acknowledges that an existing injury makes you fragile (hence the eggshell link), but this doesn't limit the respondent's liability if his or her negligence worsens the injury. In essence, the respondent should take you as you are, even if your fragility wasn't foreseeable to him or her.

Consider a situation where you have a limb fracture that has almost healed, and you get involved in an accident that worsens the injury, delays its healing or extends the fracture. In such a case, the "eggshell skull" doctrine demands that the liable party should compensate you for the additional injuries even if another person without a limb fracture wouldn't have sustained them.

For a personal injury attorney in your area, contact a law firm such as Stillman & Stillman P.C.

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