What is the “pre-existing condition” defence after a slip?

Date: Nov 22, 2016

A woman is suing for slipping in a hardware store and she claims that the company was negligent in cleaning up after a spill. However, the defendant claims that the plaintiff has pre-existing medical problems and was negligent in failing to avoid the spill. Find out how these sort of counter arguments can be anticipated by getting strong legal advice when making a slip and fall injury claim.

The case 

A woman recently slipped in a major hardware store in Australia and is suing for negligence because she says there was some unknown substance – either sauce or oil –  on the floor. Had the area been properly maintained and cleaned to ensure safe premises, she says that she would not have fallen. She claims that she injured her leg and wrist as a result.

The company in question has defended itself by claiming that the injuries may have been caused by pre-existing medical conditions like arthritis. In addition, they’re also arguing that she could have avoided slipping, that her injuries are minor and that she has since recovered from the incident that happened in September 2011.

Defendants can claim pre-existing conditions and contributory negligence

Gerard Malouf and Partners’ team of lawyers knows the tactics that corporations will use to get out of paying the compensation you deserve – one of which will be claiming that you have pre-existing medical conditions that are the cause of your injury.

This is why we have an expert team of medical practitioners at our disposal to assess your injury as well as your past medical records. We will fight on your behalf to rebut their arguments that you have engaged in contributory negligence. The Legal Services Commission of Australia explains that contributory negligence is when an injured person contributed the the cause of their injury. The amount of damages will be reduced according to the amount they are determined to have contributed to the injury.

For this reason of being able to claim that an injury was caused by contributory negligence or pre-existing conditions, Lexology states that it is vital that the plaintiff make sure that their medical history is consistent, otherwise defendants will be able to use inconsistencies as evidence that questions the truthfulness of the plaintiff’s claim.

Contact Gerard Malouf and Partners if you think you have a slip and fall public liability claim and need legal advice to strengthen the validity of your claim.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.