What is an Eggshell Plaintiff?
Although all human bodies are brittle, “eggshell plaintiffs” are particularly so. A person who is less resilient than the average person due to a pre-existing medical condition or another factor may sustain more severe injuries and monetary losses in an accident. Due to the “eggshell skull” rule, the legal system takes these distinctions into account and holds defendants accountable for any additional damages that plaintiffs sustain as a result.
The Brown Firm prefers not to use terms like these because we think they may come off as insulting to someone who has been hurt. However, it is crucial to understand what this means for your particular situation. You might be deserving of a larger award or be required to pay more in damages to a potential victim.
The phrase “Eggshell Plaintiff” refers to a plaintiff who has additional medical issues or conditions that make their injuries in a particular case even more severe. It is often used to signify that the defendant must pay for all damages brought on by the accident, not just those that an “average” person would sustain.
The term “eggshell plaintiff” originally referred to a comparison between an eggshell and a normal skull. The theory is if the plaintiff’s skull was made of an eggshell and it broke because of an accident, then the defendant would have to compensate for those injuries, even though the plaintiff’s skull was particularly vulnerable to breakage. This is the reason why this rule is also known as the “eggshell skull” rule.
How Exactly is the Eggshell Skull Rule Put Into Practice?
It is required of defendants to “take plaintiffs as they are,” which indicates that they are required to deal with actual damages in a case rather than merely what they believe should have occurred.
Imagine that you suffer from a condition that affects your bones and causes them to be more fragile than the bones of most people. You are involved in a rear-end collision that is not particularly severe, but it causes you to break your leg. The defendant is not allowed to argue that the bone condition contributed to the break in your leg.
Pre-Existing Conditions and the Eggshell Plaintiff Rule
Not only does the eggshell skull rule consider whether or not a plaintiff is more likely to be injured, but it also addresses pre-existing conditions.
Imagine that you just had surgery on your neck a week ago, and then you were involved in a car accident. Your recent operation will be negatively impacted as a result of the collision. If the defendant is found to be at fault for the accident, they will be responsible for paying any additional damages that were caused by it. They are the ones who are responsible for restoring you to the condition that you were in before the accident took place.
Providing Evidence of Further Damages Following an Accident
It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for paying for the additional damages caused by an accident. You might need the assistance of an experienced doctor as a witness.
Expert witnesses are permitted to testify in certain capacities in the state of Georgia. One of these capacities is the ability to explain the nature of the medical care or treatment that you would have required for your pre-existing condition both before and after the accident took place.
The question that needs to be answered is how much worse your condition became as a result of the accident. The defendant is responsible for making up for that difference in the budget.
An insurance company will argue that you would have needed specific types of medical care regardless of the accident in an effort to reduce the amount of additional damages that they are obligated to pay out. Despite the possibility that this is correct, demonstrating the additional damage will be an extremely important part of your case.
Our law firm can assist you in gathering evidence and presenting it in the best possible light in order to demonstrate how much your accident changed the course of your life, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to schedule a free consultation if you were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
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