Are You An Eggshell Plaintiff? If So, That’s OK
When someone is in an accident, we generally anticipate what kind of injuries they have, and how severe they will be. We have conceptions in our minds that a given type of accident will yield a given type of injury, and that injury will affect the victim in a pre-set, established way.
Same Accident, Different Reactions
But that’s not how the real world, or our bodies, actually work. The truth is that when we are injured, all of us will respond in a different way. And some of us will have injuries that are more severe than expected, because of who we are, our age, or just the makeup of our bodies.
Take, for example, someone who is in a rear end car accident. If that person were in his or her 20s, the victim may have a sprain strain of the neck. But if that person were elderly, he or she may be so traumatized, that he may have to spend time in a hospital, deteriorate in that hospital, and suffer a heart attack.
Is a heart attack an expected outcome from a rear end accident? No, and most of us, in that situation, would not suffer a heart attack. But this victim did.
Can You Still Recover?
So can an insurance company argue that your recovery or response to an accident is “too much?” Can it argue that you are too fragile, or that 99% of people would have recovered from an accident that you never fully recovered from, so you shouldn’t be able to get compensation?
The answer is no, they cannot argue that, and that is largely because of what is known as the eggshell plaintiff doctrine. The eggshell plaintiff doctrine says that the Defendant takes a victim as he finds that victim.
The Defendant may injure someone rough and sturdy with a high pain tolerance and a musculature that ensures that the victim is hardly injured. On the other hand, the Defendant may injure someone smaller, with a weaker bone structure, who may be less tolerant to pain, and who may even have other conditions that make him or her less able to recover from injury.
One victim may mentally just move on from an accident. But another victim, in the exact same accident and with the exact same injuries and disabilities, may fall into depression or have debilitating anxiety.
The Defendant cannot argue that a victim’s injuries are “abnormal” or “more severe than they should be,” although that sounds logical. So long as the victim’s injuries were actually caused by the accident, and the disabilities and ailments suffered by the victim are legitimate (that is, documented by medical evidence and other testimony), and assuming that the victim there is no such thing as a victim being “more injured than he should have been.”
Contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today for help with your injury case, no matter what kind of injury you may have suffered in an accident.