The Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine and its Impact in a Personal Injury Settlement
Human beings are careless creatures. A simple beep from their smartphone is all it takes for them to divert all their attention towards it. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing, be it driving a car or running chores. And when they are distracted, they are prone to either injuring themselves or someone nearby.
This is the basis of personal injury claim settlement. A person suffers an injury due to the negligence of someone else. But things aren’t as straightforward as this. There are numerous intricacies involved. One of them is the eggshell plaintiff doctrine.
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What is the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine?
The average person is susceptible to a range of injuries. What might be a minor injury to some might be a major one to others.
Say, for instance, that a diabetic patient is involved in an accident and suffers an injury that requires minor surgery. However, due to the victim’s health condition, the minor surgery becomes a major one. This is because diabetic patients
- Have an increased risk of infection after the surgery
- Heal more slowly
- Suffer from heart problems
- Experience fluid, kidney, and electrolyte problems
This makes a simple accident much more complicated. In situations like this, one question arises. Does the at-fault party take responsibility for the additional health complications as well?
The answer is yes.
This is the concept of the eggshell doctrine. It makes the at-fault party liable for all health-related conditions the victim suffers, no matter how uncommon or unpredictable they are.
Wait, isn’t this the Same as a Pre-Existing Injury?
The eggshell plaintiff doctrine and pre-existing injuries are two topics that are often discussed together. Pre-existing injury comes into play when the victim already has a health condition that is worsened by the accident. Even in this case, the insurance company of the at-fault party is liable to pay damages to the victim.
The eggshell plaintiff doctrine talks about the overall health of the victim. The impact of an accident will be much greater for a person who is physically weak or suffering from some health condition. This not only interferes with the treatment they receive for their injuries but also with the recovery process.
Proving the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine
The onus is on the victim to prove the eggshell plaintiff doctrine. One recommended and rather convenient way is to use medical records. This is why almost all law-related articles on the internet talk about seeking medical attention.
A comprehensive medical examination reveals the injuries the victim suffered in the accident and their health condition before the accident. This will be important in a personal injury case. In addition to submitting medical records, the victim’s medical practitioner may be called upon to deliver their statement.
The Impact of the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine in a Personal Injury Settlement
Accidents come with their fair share of troubles. Some are financial, while others are physical and emotional. Personal injury law dictates specific categories under which victims receive compensation. There are three categories in general. They are:
- Economic Damages
- Non-Economic Damages
- Punitive Damages
Each of these damages has its own set of evidence that the victim needs to provide.
In regards to the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, the at-fault party will have to pay up. This means that the at-fault party will be responsible for the injuries they caused and the health complications that happen due to them, irrespective of the victim’s fragile health condition.
Claims of a pre-existing injury or fragile health are among the defenses employed by the insurance company. Such statements are often made to deny or lower compensation to the victim.
This is why a personal injury lawyer is essential. They know how to deal with these types of defenses. They’ll also help victims get compensation for treating the health complications that accompany the injury.