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The Eggshell Skull Doctrine in Florida

peopleThe reality is that many individuals, at some point in their lives, may experience injuries resulting from accidents. Whether it is through a car crash, a pedestrian accident, or a slip and fall, when these types of accidents take place, determining liability can be complicated. There are many complex legal theories that may be applicable. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our experienced Miami injury attorneys can analyze the facts of your case and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation for your harm.

When a person is injured in an accident due to the fault of another party, the injured person can typically file a negligence claim against the at-fault party. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care in one’s actions or omissions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care, that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff, and that the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s harm.

The eggshell skull doctrine, also referred to as the eggshell plaintiff rule, is a legal theory that holds an individual legally liable for the full extent of damages sustained by a plaintiff, even if the degree of harm suffered was more than what would typically be suffered by the average person. Put another way, the eggshell doctrine states that a defendant must take a victim as he or she is, and that victim’s sensitivity or frailty is not a defense. The important principle behind this rule is the recognition that the same accident may affect different individuals in different ways.

Consider the following example. You are texting and driving when you bump into another vehicle in front of you. In most instances, this minor crash may be settled quickly. However, say you hit an individual with an especially thin or eggshell skull, and that individual hit his or her head on the steering wheel and sustained a severe skull fracture instead of a small bump on the head that the average person might have suffered. Under the eggshell skull doctrine in Florida, the plaintiff would not be entitled to any damages for the pre-existing condition (having a very thin skull) but would be entitled to damages for any conditions that were made worse by the accident.

A number of Florida court decisions affirm the eggshell skull doctrine, and it is also included in the Florida Standard Jury Instruction (401.12 and 402.6). It is important to note that this applies to every type of injury, rather than just skull fractures.

While some legal theories require applying the same principles to every case, other concepts such as the eggshell skull doctrine recognize the individuality of each plaintiff. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami injury attorneys have years of experience helping clients resolve their personal injury claims, and we can help you as well. You can trust that our team will work diligently to advocate for your rights at every step of the way. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.

More Blog Posts:

Tesla Autopilot Accidents in Florida – Who is Liable?, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, October 7, 2016

Dangerous and Defective Florida Roadways, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, October 7, 2016

Appliance Accidents in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, October 7, 2016