What is the eggshell rule and how does it apply to personal injury?
Hiring the right personal injury attorney can improve your chances of clearing your claim for maximum compensation, especially if you are an eggshell prosecutor.
If you are the claimant in a personal injury case, there is some important terminology that you should familiarize yourself with that can affect your claim. One of them is the eggshell rule, which basically means that in your case the defendant must “take the plaintiff as he finds it”. Defendants may be legally responsible for your injuries in certain situations, even if you have pre-existing conditions or injuries. Insurance companies for the culpable party will try all necessary means to reduce or eliminate the amount of money they have to pay for your damage. The best way to ensure that you are getting the compensation you are owed is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Meaning of the eggshell rule
Under the Eggshell Rule, a culprit is responsible for reimbursing you for your injuries, even if you had pre-existing conditions that have worsened or your current health problems make you more vulnerable to injury. Eggshell refers to the example used in many law schools where a plaintiff has a rare condition that leaves them with a fragile skull. Your skull is thin and delicate like an eggshell. If someone’s negligence causes the victim to break their head, the accused cannot claim that they should not be responsible just because a younger or healthier person did not suffer the same fate.
Depending on the circumstances and the state your case is in, the eggshell rule can apply to both physical and emotional injuries. For example, someone who already has mental illness or is a veteran with PTSD may experience different levels of emotional distress in an accident.
Fragile state compared to pre-existing injuries
There are two important circumstances in which the eggshell rule can apply. The first is when a plaintiff’s fragile condition makes them vulnerable to injury. The second, where the plaintiff has a pre-existing injury made worse by the defendant’s negligence. At Stanger Stanfield Law, we have represented numerous eggshell plaintiffs who are struggling to obtain fair compensation from the defendant’s insurance company.
Doctor looking at an x-ray; Image courtesy of rawpixel.com via Unsplash, https://unsplash.com
If a plaintiff has a back injury made worse by a car accident, the defendant is responsible for the deterioration. For example, imagine a plaintiff who had a minor back injury that was almost healed. While driving to the store, the plaintiff was hit from behind by the defendant’s vehicle and suffered serious back injuries. Instead of demanding conservative physiotherapy as before, the plaintiff now has to be operated on again immediately. The defendant cannot claim that he is not responsible for these additional injuries or the operation as their actions resulted in the plaintiff being further injured.
How the eggshell rule applies in cases of personal injury
As an injured victim, you have the right to argue the eggshell rule in order to get the defendant’s insurance company to pay you adequate compensation. This rule also applies if the payout would be less for a completely different claimant with identical facts. Personal injury can be very complicated, which is why you should have a lawyer by your side. Consider hiring a personal injury attorney who has experience handling similar cases.
Personal injury is a broad field of the law. If your claim was due to medical misconduct or product liability, you want an attorney who tried similar cases rather than an attorney who only handled automobile accident cases. Hiring the right personal injury attorney can improve your chances of clearing your claim for maximum compensation, especially if you are an eggshell prosecutor.