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The Eggshell Skull Rule: Full Damages Are Available
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If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then Florida law may entitle you to damages as compensation — but every dispute is different. If you’re a uniquely fragile individual, then you may have suffered much more severe injuries than a “normal” plaintiff would have suffered under the same circumstances.
So, are you entitled to recover your damages in full, even if you are uniquely fragile?
Yes. Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Eggshell Skull Rule?
The eggshell skull rule is a rather simple rule that is applied in Florida, and in all jurisdictions in the United States. It establishes the following principle: a successful plaintiff is entitled to recover damages even if their damages were “enhanced” by their unique fragilities.
This can be a bit difficult to visualize as a concept, so let’s use a quick example for clarity.
Suppose that you have “brittle bones.” You’re seriously injured in a car accident where the defendant was speeding and distracted on their phone at the time. The defendant was clearly negligent and at-fault. Your damages are significant, however: $500,000. A “normal” person might not have suffered as many severe fracture injuries and would have perhaps only had damages of $200,000.
Despite the fact that your damages are so much greater than a “normal” plaintiff, you are still entitled to sue and recover your damages in full ($500,000). In this scenario, you are an eggshell skull plaintiff — a plaintiff with unique fragilities. The defendant will simply have the bear the burden of covering your losses.
Reasoning Behind the Rule
When first confronted with the eggshell skull rule, many people see it as a bit unfair for defendants. Though the defendant was negligent, they are being held responsible for damages that are unexpected and rare.
If you evaluate the reasoning behind the rule, however, you’ll find that it is motivated by fairness and justice. See, in an accident involving an “eggshell plaintiff,” either the plaintiff or the defendant must bear the extra cost burden. If the defendant were not made to pay the damages in full, then the plaintiff would be forced to cover their own losses — this would be even more unfair, as they are not at fault.
As such, the fairer choice is to put the cost burden on the defendant. Drivers may also be motivated to be more careful on the road, as they cannot predict whether the person they injure is uniquely fragile and could sue them for a higher damages amount.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer at Alley, Clark & Greiwe for Legal Help
Here at Alley, Clark & Greiwe, our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs in the state of Florida, helping them obtain compensation in a wide range of personal injury disputes, from car accidents to medical malpractice claims and beyond.
We understand the challenges facing plaintiffs, and how important it is to advocate aggressively on their behalf to secure the compensation they deserve. To that end, we work closely with our clients at every phase of litigation to ensure that we have the information we need to effectively represent their interests.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer at our firm, call us at (800) 840-0977 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.