Accident settlements include money for aggravation of pre-existing condition under certain circumstances. The question becomes whether the reckless driver's conduct was a substantial factor in producing the injury and the aggravation, and whether the injured person's post accident condition flowed from or was the natural consequence of the car accident. An aggravation can cause medical bills, wage loss, pain, suffering and disability.
In Wisconsin aggravation of pre-existing condition is an element of damages in MVA cases. If a negligent driver causes a car accident and a another driver or passenger is injured, the injured person can recover for medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering even if the injured person had a pre-existing injury or medical condition. However, the negligent or at fault driver and his or her insurance company is only going to be responsible for the injuries to the extent that they were aggravated in the collision. A preexisting condition is a disease, condition, injury that was already in existence when the accident in question occurred.
In Wisconsin, a pre-existing condition or injury can be covered in so far as the condition is caused or aggravated beyond normal progression by the accident or collision. Wisconsin Civil Jury Instruction 1715 provides that:
Aggravation of pre-existing condition is a recoverable element of damages in Wisconsin motor vehicle accident cases. But there must be a discernable aggravation, which is a question of causation. If a case doesn't settle, the jury must decide whether the car accident was a substantial factor in producing the injury and the aggravation, and whether the plaintiff's condition after the accident flowed from or was the natural consequence of the defendant's negligent conduct.
In Wisconsin, aggravated pre-existing conditions in automobile accidents are covered by insurance. Wisconsin personal injury law follows the traditional eggshell-skull or take your victim as you find him rule of the common law. Anderson v. Milwaukee Ins., 161 Wis. 2d 766 (Ct. App. 1991) The negligent driver is responsible for damages he caused by aggravating a pre-existing condition.
Aggravation of pre-existing condition or injury is a typical defense used by workers' compensation insurance companies to deny valid claims. It is not a strong defense in most cases and an experienced, knowledgeable attorney knows how to deal with it. An employer takes an employee as is, and the employee's pre-existing condition or predisposition to injury does not relieve the current employer from liability for worker's compensation. Semons Dep't Store v. DILHR, 50 Wis. 2d 518 (1971).
Does Workers Comp Cover Pre-Existing Conditions? Yes. In Wisconsin workers compensation law includes the principle of English and American common law that "you take your victim as you find them." Basically, if an employer hires a worker, the worker's susceptibility to injury does not forfeit the employee's right to worker's compensation benefits if he gets more injured on the job.