Pedestrian Hit by New York City Bus Wins $1,400,000 Pain and Suffering Jury Verdict for Back Injuries; Appeals Court Orders New Trial Because Plaintiff Failed to Allege Preexisting Condition


Defendants routinely and successfully argue in back and neck injury cases that plaintiff’s injuries pre-existed an accident and no pain and suffering damages should be awarded (even if defendant is found to have caused the new accident). There’s merit to the argument but it’s not as simple as I’ve implied.

Under New York law, a plaintiff who’s been injured before is still entitled to recover pain and suffering damages resulting from a new injury to the same body part; however, a plaintiff is only entitled to damages to the extent to which he’s been further disabled or injured as a result of the new accident.

And, a plaintiff must make the aggravation or exacerbation of injury claim in his lawsuit pleadings before a trial judge will tell the jury that they may make an award for the increased pain and suffering. Otherwise, a plaintiff has to prove that all of his injuries were caused in the new accident and the defendant will win by convincing the jury that plaintiff’s injuries predated the current accident.

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John Hochfelder on:

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