I fell on a broken pavement outside a grocery store 2 weeks ago. I did not file a report as I did not appear severely injured. However, after a while, the fall caused a spasm disorder to reappear and it was worse than before; I could hardly move my head. For the past two years I have been living a completely normal life despite having cervical dystonia, because it was in remission until the accident at the grocery store. Do I have a case?


Even if the plaintiff has a pre-existing condition, he/she may still be able to claim for damages if the defendant is liable for the present injury that might have aggravated the plaintiff’s previous condition (see California Civil Jury Instructions 3927).  This means that it should be proven that the act or neglect of the defendant is the “proximate cause” of the injury or aggravation to the injury, that if it had not been for such act or neglect, no injury would have occurred.

Injuries that may have aggravated a pre-existing condition could make it a little bit more challenging to claim for damages. There may also be a need for expert testimonies to prove that the present injury made a previous condition worse. That’s why one should work with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury cases for more information and to be properly represented.

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