Often people have a predisposition to certain injuries. We all know somebody who has a ‘bum knee’ that is easily twisted or sprained, or a “glass jaw” that breaks at the drop of a hat. When a person with such predisposition has an accident that further injures that particular body part, The Eggshell Rule comes into play.
If you were to punch someone in the nose during a bar fight and if his skull was particularly fragile, (like an eggshell,) you might find yourself responsible for serious injuries like skull fractures, brain damage, or even death.
Of course you didn’t know that the rascal was so susceptible to injury, but nevertheless you could be held responsible for his medical bills or even his wrongful death. The eggshell rule simply means that if you injure somebody, you are responsible for those injuries even if all you did was to aggravate an old wound. If you make a pre-existing injury worse, you are responsible.
Sometimes, people become injured in an accident and think they cannot be compensated for their injuries because there was already a predisposition to such injuries. This is not the case. The law and the Eggshell Rule stand on your side to see that your costs and your suffering are given all due consideration. Here’s an example.
An Eggshell Rule Example
A 46-year-old assistant principle of a public school was riding his motorcycle on I-285 near East Point when a bobtail truck – meaning the tractor was not pulling a trailer at the time – veered across three lanes of traffic from right to left. The truck’s lane changes were so rapid and unexpected that the motorcyclist was forced to lay down his bike to avoid hitting the truck. The resulting injuries were to his back and his knee.
The injured plaintiff had been in multiple motorcycle and automobile accidents prior to this one. Additionally he had previously undergone surgeries for both his back and his knee before this accident occurred. He might have simply let his worsened injuries go and considered the experience to be simple bad luck.
After a brief hospital stay, and for an entire year following the accident with the truck, the plaintiff attempted to live his life normally. He recognized that he was an eggshell patient. Eventually, surgery was required on his spine because the accident had diminished his quality of life so badly.
Witnesses Testifying in Court
When the plaintiff brought a civil suit in Fulton County State Court, a Jury and Judge Fred C. Eady heard the testimony of witnesses who saw the accident. These witnesses refuted the defendant’s testimony that it was another unidentified truck that caused the plaintiff to lay down the motorcycle. One witness even followed the defendant’s truck to obtain license plate number and report it to police. The driver was brought back to the scene of the accident by the police.
In the end, the Jury found for the plaintiff, awarding a total of $700,000 – $349,177 for his personal injury, past medical cost and an additional $350,823 for personal injury and past pain and suffering.
The quality of your life has value. When someone causes you injury and pain, you may have the right to recover. If somebody negligently takes away your ability to live your life well and comfortably, you may have a civil case. Call or email the personal injury lawyers at The Millar Law Firm – give them the opportunity to review your case to see if your injuries should be compensated by others.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above article is a factually-accurate case history of an actual previously litigated or settled Georgia case. The case was reported on in local media and/or legal reporting services and it was not handled by The Millar Law Firm. However, we think our current and prospective clients may find this information interesting and informative as the case is factually similar to cases our office routinely handles. Please be advised that The Millar Law Firm makes no guarantees your case will have a similar outcome, as past results and results of our firm or of other lawyers and law firms are not indicative of future performance.