If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, then Florida law may entitle you to sue and recover damages to cover your losses. In many cases, the defendant may be surprised by the total damages liability: after all, you — the plaintiff — may have suffered injuries that are substantially more severe than that of a “normal” person in the same situation.
Does the fact that you were uniquely susceptible to severe injury impact your ability to recover damages? Not quite. No matter your injuries, the defendant bears the burden of covering the losses for which they’re liable — even if the losses are more than expected for a “normal” person.
Let’s take a closer look at how this principle works.
Understanding the Eggshell Skull Rule
The "eggshell skull” rule is simple: a defendant may be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages that they cause — even if the plaintiff’s damages are more significant due to a unique fragility or susceptibility that was not foreseeable at the time of the accident.
For example, suppose that you have a bone condition that makes your bones uniquely fragile and easy-to-break. The defendant hits you with their bicycle and you fall down and fracture several bones, causing serious injury. The defendant would then be liable for all your damages, even though a “normal” person would not have suffered a serious injury (i.e., the fractures).
This may seem unfair at first glance, but in truth, the eggshell skull rule is meant to achieve fairness. It puts the cost burden on the liable party — otherwise, the plaintiff would be forced to cover their own losses (that were caused by another’s fault). As such, the eggshell skull rule reflects the fairest possible option under the circumstances.
When the plaintiff is an “eggshell skull” party — in other words, uniquely fragile or susceptible to injury — then the defendant may attempt to minimize their liability through certain defense arguments.
Specifically, the defendant may attempt to argue that the unique susceptibility of the plaintiff is due to the plaintiff’s personal problems (i.e., intoxication, drug abuse), or that the plaintiff is lying or perhaps exaggerating their injuries to secure a higher damages total.
By painting you as an unsympathetic character, the defendant could undermine your case and hurt your ability to secure maximum damages. The key is to introduce sufficient evidence (i.e., medical documentation and other evidence, such as photo/video evidence) to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your injuries are real and not exaggerated or worsened by any personal perception issues.
Contact Powell Law Firm for Guidance
Powell Law Firm is a Florida-based personal injury firm that was founded nearly seven decades ago. Over the years, our attorneys have successfully represented injury plaintiffs in a wide range of disputes, from car accident cases to product liability cases, and more.
We believe that effective representation demands the experience, willingness, and ability to take a case to trial if necessary. Our trial-readiness gives us substantial leverage during settlement negotiations — defendants know that we will push forward through litigation if they do not make a favorable settlement offer.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced Crestview personal injury lawyer at our firm, then call us at 850-682-2757 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.