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What is the eggshell skull doctrine?

If you suffer a serious injury in a car accident, you are far from alone. In fact, the Association for Safe International Road Travel reports about 4.4 million Americans to require medical treatment because of car accidents every single year.

You should not have to pay for someone else’s bad driving. Therefore, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation from the driver who caused the crash. Still, you may wonder what happens if an accident aggravates a pre-existing injury or worsens a chronic medical condition.

The eggshell skull doctrine

The eggshell skull doctrine operates on the notion that some individuals are stronger and healthier than others. This legal principle ensures accident victims who have pre-existing conditions or other vulnerabilities receive fair compensation for their accident-related injuries.

Put simply, at-fault drivers may not avoid legal liability because a person’s pre-existing injury or poor health makes him or her more likely to suffer bodily harm in a car accident.

Compensation for accident-related injuries

If a car accident aggravates your pre-existing injury, you can probably pursue a financial settlement for the aggravation. You likely cannot, however, receive compensation for your pre-existing injury or illness. Consequently, you may need to provide your medical records to show how the accident worsened your condition. You may also want to ask your doctor or another medical professional to provide an opinion.

To receive the financial compensation you need to recover after a car accident, you may have to jump through a few additional hurdles. Nevertheless, because of the rights the eggshell skull doctrine affords you, you should not accept a low-ball settlement offer or outright claim denial.