The Impact of the Eggshell Skull Rule on Personal Injury Cases

You may be entitled to more compensation when someone else’s negligence worsens your injuries. This is known as the eggshell skull rule. It means that negligent parties cannot use the victim’s preexisting conditions as a defense to limit their liability. The defendant must accept the victim as they are and pay for any injuries aggravating the condition.

The Duty of Care

According to the Texas eggshell skull rule or the thin skull rule in some regions, the accused must take the victim as they find them. This means that if a person is harmed due to someone else’s actions, the person responsible cannot use preexisting injuries or medical conditions as an excuse to limit their liability for the harm caused. For instance, if Susan falls at a store and injures herself due to her medical condition of hemophilia, which causes her blood not to clot normally, the grocery store would still be held responsible for her harm. The jury would evaluate the scenario and consider medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, and agony. It is important to note that individuals with preexisting injuries or medical conditions should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.

Preexisting Conditions

While each victim is unique, some of them have medical histories and past injuries that could potentially exacerbate their damages in an accident. The eggshell skull rule addresses this by ensuring that defendants cannot use preexisting conditions to evade responsibility. For example, a man with a fragile skull re-injures his head in a car crash and suffers severe injuries. This may lead to additional costs and damages, such as reduced earning capacity and physical impairment. The defendant cannot use his skull condition to avoid liability, as this would mean that they must take his preexisting injuries into account when determining how much compensation he deserves. This is why working with a personal injury attorney with experience handling cases involving preexisting injuries is essential. The lawyer can argue that your condition was aggravated by the accident and make sure you’re fully compensated for your losses.


Injured plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and physical impairment. They also deserve compensation for any damages aggravated by a preexisting condition/injury. For example, suppose an accident victim has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone syndrome), a condition that weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to injury. If that person is in a car accident, they may experience a lot of broken bones. In that case, the at-fault driver cannot use the eggshell skull rule to avoid liability. Similarly, suppose a person with emotional issues such as depression or PTSD suffers from an accident, and the incident exacerbates their mental distress. In that case, the negligent party is responsible for those damages. However, it is essential to note that different states have varying approaches when it comes to emotional injuries and the eggshell skull doctrine. Working with an experienced attorney is critical to determine whether this rule applies to your case.