injured man after car accident in Palm Beach GardensIf you're involved in a personal injury case in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, or have otherwise been injured due to no fault of your own, it’s important that you fully understand the legal complexities of your case. There are certain rules surrounding personal injury that can affect you. Among these important rules are the "Eggshell Plaintiff" rule and the "Crumbling Skull" rule.

These legal doctrines ensure that individuals are fairly compensated when suffering due to another’s negligence, even if they had pre-existing conditions before the incident. Below, our Palm Beach Gardens personal injury lawyer explains each rule in detail, plus how our law firm can help protect your rights.

[Related: If you want to learn more about what your personal injury case may be worth, check out our free guide]

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Table of Contents:

What is the Eggshell Plaintiff Rule in Florida Law?

The "Eggshell Plaintiff" rule, otherwise known as Florida’s Eggshell Doctrine, is a foundational legal doctrine of personal injury law in Florida. It asserts that a defendant must “take their victim as they find them,” which means if you have a pre-existing condition that makes you more susceptible or prone to injury, the defendant is still fully liable for all the injuries caused by their negligent or intentional actions. Keep in mind that the defendant is still responsible regardless of the severity expected in someone without the condition. This is important to prevent victims of personal injury cases from suffering more due to a condition or situation that is no fault of their own. 

Florida’s Eggshell Doctrine states that the defendant’s responsibility does not lessen even if the victim is or was more susceptible to injury. Victims can claim full compensation for the exacerbation of injuries caused by the incident, even if they were pre-existing. There is no impact on the amount of monetary compensation they are entitled to so personal injury victims can fully recover. It’s important to note that the “eggshell skull’ rule is upheld across the United States legal system, including Palm Beach Gardens and the greater State of Florida.

What is the Crumbling Skull Rule in Florida? 

In contrast to Florida’s Eggshell Doctrine, or the Eggshell Plaintiff Rule, the "Crumbling Skull" rule states that a defendant cannot be held responsible or is required to compensate a plaintiff for the effects of their pre-existing condition. In other words, the defendant may be responsible for additional damage, but they can not be held liable for any pre-existing damage, or damage which would have come about naturally as a result of a plaintiff’s existing condition. The rule is designed to ensure that compensation only restores the plaintiff to the state they would have been in if the incident had not occurred, without improving their prior condition. The “Crumbling Skull” rule helps make fair assessments of damages in personal injury cases in Palm Beach Gardens and the rest of Florida so that defendants are not overburdened with compensation for conditions they haven’t exacerbated.

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Does the Eggshell Skull Rule Apply to Emotional Injuries or Emotional Distress? 

The Eggshell Skull Rule is important to allow those who have suffered from a personal injury to fully recover after an accident, regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition. However, Florida’s Eggshell Rule does not apply to emotional injuries or emotional distress. For example, if a plaintiff previously was suffering from emotional distress, PTSD, anxiety, or depression, they can not claim compensation because an incident made this emotional condition worse. Florida does allow personal injury victims to receive compensation for non-economic compensatory damages, otherwise referred to as “general damages”, which can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium

Examples of Eggshell Plaintiffs in Palm Beach Gardens Personal Injury Cases

In Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, and the rest of Palm Beach County Florida, the “Eggshell Doctrine” and “Crumbling Skull Rule” are particularly relevant in scenarios like car accidents and workplace injuries, where pre-existing conditions often play a crucial role in the extent of injuries sustained.

  • Car Accidents: Consider a person with a condition like osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. If this person is involved in a car accident, the Eggshell Plaintiff rule would require that the responsible party be liable for all the injuries incurred, acknowledging the victim’s fragile condition.
  • Gym-related Injuries: For example, a person with a known degenerative spinal condition who suffers aggravated injuries from faulty or poorly maintained equipment would find the Eggshell Plaintiff rule applicable, holding the negligent party fully responsible for the aggravated injuries.

Why These Rules Matter

Understanding these doctrines is crucial for anyone involved in a personal injury lawsuit in Palm Beach Gardens Florida and the greater State of Florida. They ensure that all individuals, regardless of their health at the time of an accident, receive justice and compensation tailored to their specific situations. These rules prevent defendants from escaping full liability simply because the victim was more vulnerable due to uncontrollable, pre-existing conditions.

Personal Injury Attorney Near Me in Palm Beach Gardens

If you've been involved in an accident in Palm Beach Gardens and believe these rules might apply to your situation, it's essential to discuss your case with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Our law firm specializes in navigating the complexities of personal injury law and ensuring that our clients receive the full compensation they deserve.

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Click the button above to schedule a consult or call us at 561.671.5995 for immediate assistance to determine if you qualify for compensation based on the unique details of your case. Understanding your rights and the nuances of local laws is the first step toward securing the justice and compensation you deserve.

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