Accident Or Injury Making Your Existing Medical Condition Worse

Introduction: Recent Case in Court: Sklair v Haycock

In an Injury or personal injury claim, you may have a pre-existing condition: this means you are already suffering from an illness or medical condition which is then made worse by the accident and injury.

In these cases we work with you to ensure the claim time is now and we are able to assess what part or proportion of your total symptoms are due to the pre-existing condition and what part is due to the accident. To do this we will ask medical experts to assess and assist. 

The Issue in the Case

Before his accident, the claimant had Aspergers and obsessive compulsive disorder. Despite this he lived a fairly independent life and would travel on his own and see friends. He relied upon his father, who provided him with day to day needs such as food and laundry.

Mr Sklair was 46 when he was involved in a serious road traffic accident suffering a spinal cord injury causing reduced mobility and limited movement. It also impacted his psychological condition and mental well-being. Mr Sklair as a result care needs changed to needing 24-hour care, his father being elderly could not provide. 

Qualitative Care: The type of Care had Changed

The court decided Mr Sklair was unable to live at home in the same way as prior to the accident and following the accident a change of care developed requiring around the clock daily care 7 days professional care with adapted and differing accommodation required.

The Claimant argued that he was entitled to recover the full cost of a 24/7 professional care package with no deductions for the cost of his pre-existing care needs. 

Significantly and important for all Claimants: Victory 

The Insurance company fighting the claim said the Claimant should only receive an additional five hours of care per day caused by the negligent injury arguing that the accident had made the Claimant condition worse but not caused all the pain and suffering. 

The Court Decided the Claimant could recover the cost of his care needs in full without any deduction or apportionment for the care needed prior to the accident. 


Court of Appeal in a different Case: Reaney v University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust

The Claimant became paralysed below the mid-thoracic level. When in  hospital due to negligence treatment and lack of care, she developed several grade 4 pressure sores, osteomyelitis, contractures and a hip dislocation.

Two issues arose in the case:

  1. To what extent did the other injuries caused by the Hospital worsen her condition?
  2. What damages should be paid in respect of care?

The Court of Appeal considered the correct approach was as follows:

  • compare a claimant’s needs before and after the injury 
  • calculate the difference between the needs before and after 
  • Where the accident or injury worsens a pre-existing condition, a claimant can only recover damages for the extent to which the pre-existing condition has been worsened by the accident or injury.

The Hospitals Insurance Company payout was limited by the Court of Appeal to the extra care needed that was directly connected to their fault and liability. 

The Court of Appeal provided guidance as follows:

  • key issue to decide is whether the care needs are qualitatively or quantitatively different. 
  • The Insurance company agreed that the extent of the damages depended on whether or not the Claimant needs after the injury were “substantially of the same kind as her pre-existing needs” or were they “qualitatively different from her pre-existing needs”.

The Court of Appeal confirmed that the case of Sklair had been correctly decided, as in that case, the claimant’s needs were qualitatively different. 

What is the difference between qualitatively or quantitatively ?

“Quantitative” is assessed with numbers, and “qualitative” is measured by features or qualities.

Quantitative tells us the number for something that is capable of being measured. For example: how many hours of care is required by an injured person

Qualitative tells us about a trait, or type or quality that can be observed but not measured. For example: The injured person needs help with cooking, gardening or going out.


The Claim time is now if you have a case with a pre-existing care condition made worse by an accident. Contact Claim Today and you will be sure that we have expertise to examine this issue carefully when making your claim, spending all the time needed on your claim to ensure you receive full compensation.

When looking at a pre-accident condition made worse, we will consider two key points carefully: 

  1. Whether losses are ‘qualitatively different,’ or whether they are ‘quantitatively different’. This can make all the difference to the amount and level of compensation for the claimant, Claim Today will examine this in your case. 
  2. An in-depth study and analysis supported by expert evidence of the difference between the extent of the clients care needs and if they are quantitative or qualitative in nature.
  3. We will consider a hybrid approach and try to assess where thee is both a quantitative and qualitative change in the care required after an accident. 

Claim Time for Additional Care after an Accident or Injury 

We make the claim in time and ensure your care needs are looked after for the rest of your life by considering two issues:

 – If it is  ‘more of the same’,  care costs will be apportioned between the accident/injury and pre-accident/injury  causes. 

– Where the care costs caused by the accident/injury can be described as different in type and nature, the Insurance Company will be liable for the full cost of the care needed without any reduction. 

Ultimately it is for the Court to decide in complex high value cases and to ensure you have the best chance, make your claim time now, don’t delay call Claim Today.

Deciding between qualitative or quantitative will not always be a clear-cut decision, contact Claim Today the experts in Personal Injury claims since 1999 and we will assist you no win no fee.

Please Call 0800 29 800 29 to start your claim if you have a medical condition or pre-existing condition and have suffered an accident or injury making it worse 

Or email

Or whatsapp +44 7901 558 530 

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