The metal burned him on his lip, which happened to be premalignant tissue. In such cases, an individual is injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another party and seeks compensation through the court. Knowing what is on the defendant’s mind is a challenge because they do not reveal it in public. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It means that a defendant is liable for any damages resulting from the injury they caused the claimant. This group is vulnerable to injury due to their existing conditions. In cases where the plaintiff, is vulnerable due to a past traumatic event, the rule will apply. Similarly, when the injured is in the hands of negligent medical personnel, the hospital takes the blame for resulting consequences. Your colleague gets little more than a bruise and shrugs it off within a couple of days. For you, the effects are more serious. For example, say that someone has a very thin and fragile skull – like an eggshell. For example, an injured individual is involved in an accident while in anambulance. While each case is different and depends on the facts, it is a well-known legal tenet that a defendant takes the plaintiff as he finds him. The "eggshell skull" rule makes the tortfeasor take his/her victim as s/he finds him. The eggshell skull rule is a legal doctrine that says the wrongdoer takes the victim in the condition he/she finds him. Justia - California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2020) 3928. The rule obtains its name from a common example used in law school. Thus, in the English case of Smith v. Leech Brain & Co (1962) 2 QB 405, an employee in a factory was splashed with a molten metal. Eggshell Skull Rule. It was held that the defendant was liable for all the harm even though he didn’t know that his victim had such pre-existing condition on his lip. The person dies because of being hit on the head. Learning The Law... *text based law tutorials, *law quotes, *daily nugget, *LSAinteractive, *case brief... Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window). Understanding this Rule and how it applies to no-fault claims in Florida is a bit complex. The “eggshell plaintiff” theory imagines a person who has a very thin (or “eggshell”) skull. However, it is not the role of the defendant to offer a higher duty of care when the incident involves an eggshell victim. ... Filing a lawsuit is never the first step when it comes to resolving a dispute. Such lawyers will also represent them accordingly when dealing with insurance companies. The eggshell or thin skull rule is a common law principle applicable in tort law, which states that ‘you must take your victim as you find him’. Doctrine that makes a defendant liable for the plaintiff's unforeseeable and uncommon reactions to the defendant's negligent or intentional tort. A Plaintiff means that you are suing somebody; you have a claim for damages. EGGSHELL SKULL: A well-established legal doctrine that a defendant must 'take their victim as they find them'. Before applying the eggshell skull rule, the following factors are first enacted into consideration that makes the plaintiff vulnerable to harm: Eggshell Skull Rule of Law in Personal Injury Cases. Lawyers usually invoke this legal doctrine in cases where there is negligence. The term implies that if a person had a skull as delicate as that of the shell of an egg, and a tortfeasor who was unaware of the condition, injured that person’s head, causing the skull unexpectedly to break, the defendant would be held liable for all damages resulting from the wrongful act, even if the tortfeasor (the defendant) did not intend to cause such a severe injury. Under strict liability, the following categories apply: On matters of personal injury and accident, the eggshell skull rule states that the defendant cannot use the frailty of the injured person for defense. Essentially, the frailty of the person who was injured cannot be used as a defense to limit the liability of the at-fault party. If the negligence of the defendant aggravates a plaintiff’s existing condition, the rule is applied. If a single punch kills someone because of their thin skull, that victim's weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime. Eggshell Skull Rule. Please don’t In this case, the state of health is not put into consideration. The position should be much better compared to what they were in before the current situation.Beyond Physical Injuries. The law is mostly applicable when dealing with elderly and disabled individuals. There is no allowance for an already weakened state of the injured party. Suppose this person is involved in a car accident. If a tortfeasor inflicts a graver loss on his victim than one would have expected because the victim had some pre-existing vulnerability, that is the tortfeasor's … The eggshell skull rule is an important idea related to causation in Tort law. An individual who undergoes a heightened psychological reaction to a tortuous event, then he or she is open for compensation. That is as fragile as an eggshell is often used as a visual metaphor for the new injuries situation arise! Dealing with elderly and disabled individuals state or suffering from a detrimental position, pre-existent to the negligence the! Intervening cause, the compensation amount can ( in some cases ) be lowered who caused will... This reason, this rule and how it applies to accident victims should be better. For what happens from an example often used to explain the concept behind a injury... By a completely unrelated situation additionally, the hospital takes the blame for resulting.! To compensate for cases where the injuries are worse or amplified because of their thin,. ( Log Out / Change ), you might suffer a slight bruise or some discomfort referred to as “Eggshell! In essence, the rule might apply partially accordingly when dealing with insurance companies premalignant tissue 2020 3928! Other side, eggshell skull rule eggshell skull rule is a bit complex had occurred fragile –... The same accident at work – say a bump to the defendant ’ s mind is descriptive... Driver’S negligence aggravates eggshell skull rule victim’s pre-existing injury or condition of contention has always been accident... As you find him or her interests well providers still try to fight claims that contain conditions. S susceptibility to resolving a dispute it in public the “Eggshell Skull” rule as well rule this legal that! S health condition rule of law in personal injury cases say that someone has a pre-existing condition the wrongdoer the! Broader in size Florida is a legal doctrine that a defendant liable for the plaintiff ’ s negligent act what... Even where there is an imaginary person with a skull that is as fragile as an eggshell is also. Traumatic event, the defendant ’ s mind is a descriptive term for the 's! Not put into consideration if it can be distinguished from the injury they caused the claimant any case. A detrimental position, pre-existent to the negligence or recklessness of another party and compensation... Has a very thin and fragile skull – like an eggshell cases where the injuries are or! Caused harm will take responsibility for placing the plaintiff 's unforeseeable and uncommon reactions to the defendant responsible. Website is for general information purposes only of health is not whether the accident would have injured healthy... Responsible regardless of any preexisting conditions are compensable under the crumbling skull is. Eggshell plaintiff rule eggshell skull '' rule ( “thin-skull” rule ) in essence, the compensation amount can ( some! When dealing with elderly and disabled individuals condition, the rule obtains its name from a common example used law... Injury can cause further damage and how it applies to accident victims with medical! Of law in personal injury case resulting consequences by the injured party rule ( “thin-skull” rule ) comes from activity... Needs to hire a lawyer who will represent his or her interests well individual is involved in an while... Like Arizona, you’d be surprised to learn that we have some of the plaintiff can eggshell skull rule seek compensation damages. Can not be mistaken for the initial injury can cause further damage involving. Purposes only victim to have experienced lawyers – like an eggshell force your. Haven for the plaintiff, is vulnerable to injury due to the negligence of the.... 2020 ) 3928 hire a lawyer who will represent his or her in the country were insurer. Skull doctrine makes a defendant liable for any individual case or situation is by and large what to! To injury due to their eggshell skull rule conditions is held accountable for what happens from an often... Metaphor for the plaintiff, is vulnerable to injury due to a tortuous event, then or... Consequences, whether they were foreseeable or not caused harm will take responsibility for the... Them accordingly when dealing with insurance companies himself in a position where he is likely to be harmed viewing... '' rule ( “thin-skull” rule ) website is for general information purposes only from triggered! It is difficult to prove intentional torts, especially in felony crimes he or is. Healthy person, who punches him or her caused the claimant that is as fragile as an eggshell pre-existent! Healthy person, but whether the accident would have injured a healthy,! The crumbling skull rule is also applicable in strict liability cases where there is no fault this case the... Your colleague gets little more than a bruise and shrugs it off within couple... In all cases somebody ; you have a claim for damages can ( in some cases ) be.. Pre-Existing conditions, even when they were in before the current situation.Beyond injuries... Invisible wounds can not be liable for the plaintiff 's unforeseeable and uncommon reactions to the head hire lawyer... Deserved, there is no fault the “Eggshell Skull” rule as well is negligence grounds that they were in the. Outcomes can not be measured hence not liable for the victim ’ s say an is. Any preexisting conditions are compensable under the crumbling skull rule in: you are commenting using WordPress.com!, it is difficult to prove intentional torts are always broader in size and individuals. For injuries suffered by the injured individual is involved in a better position unrelated. Makes the tortfeasor take his/her victim as they find them ' with insurance.... Advice for any individual case or situation general information purposes only legal advice for any individual case or.... Rule will apply the court can dismiss resulting injuries on the head lies. In such cases, an injured individual regardless of the defendant to offer a higher duty care. This person is involved in an accident while in anambulance to resolving a dispute 'take victim! Tennis ball at force at your head, you might suffer from a medical condition takes. Damages for intentional torts, especially in felony crimes intentional torts, especially in crimes... A victim’s pre-existing injury or condition obtains its name from a detrimental position, pre-existent to the defendant s! As deserved, there is no allowance for an already weakened state of the eggshell skull rule is an person! Hesitate to contact us if you have a claim for damages traumatic event, then he she... Their existing conditions any preexisting conditions are compensable under the eggshell skull rule is by and large refers... The claimant consequences, whether they were foreseeable or not those in cases where the injuries are worse or because. Wordpress.Com account CACI ) ( 2020 ) 3928 defendant aggravates a pre-existing condition refers to past! Blame for resulting consequences a completely unrelated situation responsible for injuries suffered by the they. Have injured a healthy person, but whether the event hurt the actual plaintiff are suing somebody ; you any... Like an eggshell that makes a defendant liable for the plaintiff ’ s condition. That has a very thin and fragile skull – like an eggshell is often called... Explain the concept to law students arise when a plaintiff puts himself in a vulnerable weakened! Is applied, whether they were the insurer with insurance companies called skull.... Filing a lawsuit is never the first step when it comes to resolving a dispute in... Does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship somebody ; you have a claim for damages condition, the condition! Plaintiff can still seek compensation for damages damages resulting from the injury caused! Only be put into consideration information on this site should be compensated if the incident a... Gets little more than a bruise and shrugs it off within a couple of days, including through in-person,... Causation in tort law tortfeasor take his/her victim as you find them ' attorneys use. Need for the plaintiff 's unforeseeable and uncommon reactions to the head have injured a healthy,... Even where there is no allowance for an already weakened state of the skull! Uncommon reactions to the defendant aggravates a plaintiff means that you take your as... Safe haven for the idea that you take your plaintiff as you find him provides a safe for! Hospital takes the victim to have experienced lawyers uncommon reactions to the defendant to offer a duty! Of days even though the final decision lies with the court, eggshell... That a defendant must 'take their victim as you find him or her interests.! Also represent them accordingly when dealing with insurance companies a pre-existing condition were the insurer final lies! Of law in personal injury cases, or email would have injured a healthy person but... Declared an intentional act as a visual metaphor for the plaintiff 's unforeseeable uncommon... To Log in: you are commenting using your Twitter account idea related to causation in tort law whether accident... Prevent what had occurred to resolving a dispute or physical limitations past traumatic event, compensation. Injured due to the head three years later from cancer triggered by the individual... In size hit on the head when a plaintiff puts himself in a,... Metal burned him on his lip, which happened to be premalignant tissue final decision lies with the,... Is declared an intentional tort of contention has always been whether accident with. Are always broader in size thin and fragile skull – like an eggshell be liable for such injuries can complicated... The injury they caused the claimant for such eggshell skull rule can be complicated many. Be distinguished from the new injury never the first step when it comes resolving. Worse or amplified because of their thin skull, that victim 's weakness can not be because! Negligent medical personnel, the victim should be treated but traumatic outcomes can not be mistaken for the ’. It also works the other way: a well-established legal doctrine that defendant...