Not all plaintiffs are built the same way. Some may have unique sensitivities or fragilities that make them more susceptible to certain injuries — but can these fragilities impact their ability to sue and recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit?
Let’s take a closer look.
In the personal injury context, an eggshell skull plaintiff is an injury victim who is particularly fragile, and who therefore suffered more severe injuries (physical or mental) as a result of the defendant’s misconduct.
This may seem a bit confusing at first glance, so let’s clarify with a brief example.
Suppose that you have “brittle bones.” Your condition doesn’t cause you any additional pain or issues normally, but if you were to be involved in a car accident, then you are much more likely to not only suffer a fracture but for that fracture to lead to debilitating injuries. As such, if you did suffer those injuries in a car accident, you would be considered an “eggshell skull plaintiff.”
It’s important to highlight this fact: eggshell skull plaintiffs (i.e., plaintiffs who are uniquely fragile) are entitled to a full and adequate recovery, even if their damages are more than what the “typical” person would have suffered under the same circumstances.
So, for example, in our previous eggshell skull explanation, the eggshell skull plaintiff might have suffered $150,000 in damages. They would be entitled to recover this amount in full. By comparison, a less-fragile plaintiff might have suffered only $50,000 in damages under the same circumstances. They would be entitled to recover this amount in full — but no more than that.
This may seem unfair — after all, it’s not as though the defendant changed their behavior, and yet they can be held liable for a greater amount of damages depending on the plaintiff who was injured. In truth, however, someone has to “foot the bill” for the injury victim. If the defendant did not have to pay for those damages in full, then the victim themselves would have to shoulder the burden. Fortunately, the law provides for proper compensation through a lawsuit against the liable defendant.
If you have been injured due to the fault of another party, then you may be entitled to significant damages as compensation for those injuries. Even if you are uniquely sensitive or fragile — and this contributed to your damages — that should not prevent you from a full and adequate recovery.
Here at Cross & Smith, our team of attorneys boasts decades of experience working with a range of personal injury plaintiffs, including those who may have a condition or other personal status making them susceptible to more severe injury.
"My father-in-law was involved in a horrible traffic accident. The firm was great at handling all of his questions. In the end they got him a great settlement, but the thing he remembers most is that the people at the law firm cared about him as a person. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal services."
Posted By: Jaimie Copeland