I recently read an article that discussed an injury lawsuit in which a woman was awarded $1.14 million in a texting and driving accident. According to the article, the Plaintiff suffered extensive injuries, including a minor traumatic brain injury and exacerbation of a lower back pain condition. The Defendant, State Farm Insurance Company, argued that her injuries were not related to the wreck. They also did not admit liability until just before trial.
Texting and driving accident cases are becoming more common. It is important to determine the cause of the auto accident to make a proper claim to a judge and to a jury. As this personal injury case proves, insurance companies often take extreme positions to “wait out” the injured party. It is important that information about the wreck is gathered so that these insurance company tactics are not used to deny the injured person justice. Additionally, we find that insurance companies often argue that the injured person’s medical condition pre-existed the wreck. The insurance adjusters fail to understand or give little weight to the fact that the car wreck often aggravates a prior medical conditions like back pain. Arkansas has a jury instruction that handles this situation. AMI 2203 Measure of Damages-Aggravation of Pre-existing Condition. It reads:
In this regard you should consider the full extent of any injury sustained, even though the degree of injury is found by you to have proximately resulted from the aggravation of a [condition][disease] that already existed and that predisposed to injury to a greater extent than another person. [However, you may not award [him][her] damages for any (pain)(mental anguish)(disability) (__________) which [he][she] would have suffered even though the accident had not occurred.]
It is important to point this law out to the insurance company’s adjusters who are often out-of-state injury adjusters. Arkansas law clearly allows recovery for an aggravation to a pre-existing condition. If you or a family member have suffered an accident, it is important to speak with an Arkansas accident lawyer to discuss your claim as soon as possible.