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What Is the Eggshell Doctrine and How Can It Help You Win Fair Compensation?

What Is the Eggshell Doctrine and How Can It Help You Win Fair Compensation?

The Eggshell Doctrine or Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine is an important legal principle that can help ensure you get the full compensation you deserve if you have been injured in an accident in Florida. The Eggshell Doctrine addresses the injuries a victim may suffer – who had preexisting conditions, and to what degree those preexisting conditions impact the compensation they can recover.

The Eggshell Doctrine is a long-standing common law legal doctrine that states that a negligent party does not have less liability or responsibility to pay damages just because the injured party already had prior medical problems or conditions. If a negligent party causes injuries to someone else, then they are responsible for all the resulting consequences – whether they were foreseeable or not.

If you have been injured in an accident, you should contact a reputable personal injury attorney today to ensure your rights are protected.

A few reasons why the Eggshell Doctrine is such an important factor in Florida personal injury cases:

  • Florida ranks second related to a population over the age of 65. In addition to the full-time residents, Florida ranks among the highest states in the nation with vacation homes, year-round tourists, and retirement communities.
  • The national average of adults with some type of disability is 25%. In Florida, that average is 28% of all adult residents being partially disabled, which equates to nearly 1.7 million adult residents with at least one type of disability.


Incidents that give rise to Florida personal injury claims, such as car accidents, happen to people of all ages, including those that are healthy with no health issues beforehand, to those who have some previous health issues, to those who are more severely impaired with significant preexisting conditions. People who are elderly or disabled may be at increased risk of certain types of injuries resulting from a car accident. Additionally, the extent of the injuries they are likely to suffer is often more severe, and recovery will take longer. The Eggshell Doctrine provides those with preexisting medical conditions protection and assistance to be able to recover compensation when injured.

Those who are elderly, disabled, or medically fragile are at higher risk of suffering more serious injuries and future complications. Because of this, they must consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight to ensure that there is full accountability for both liability and damages.

Negligent parties involved in a car accident will frequently try any possible excuse or tactic to reduce the amount of liability they may be found responsible to pay to an injured party. However, this does not mean that defendants should be held any less responsible for more serious injuries because the plaintiff was already more physically fragile.

When The Eggshell Doctrine Might Apply to an Accident Injury

The Eggshell Doctrine is used in Florida in many situations, including:

1. When an accident causes an injury that reactivates a condition that was previously dormant;

2. When a previous injury that was under control is aggravated by the accident;

3. When an accident causes an injury that worsens a preexisting defect, disease, or disorder; and,

4. When an accident causes an injury that accelerates someone’s death or disability.

“…Negligence need not be the only cause of an injury to be considered the legal cause. Negligence can be the legal cause of a loss, injury, or damage – even though it operated in combination with the act of someone else, a natural cause, or some other cause, so long as the negligence substantially contributes to producing the loss, injury, or damage. Florida Standard Civil Jury Instruction 401.12

Florida Standard Civil Jury Instruction 501.5 provides instructions on how aggravation or activation of a pre-existing disease or defect should be considered in the question of damages in personal injury cases. If the jurors of a personal injury case determine that the defendant’s actions caused some injury that aggravated or activated an existing injury, disease, or defect, they are instructed to determine to what degree the victim’s current condition resulted from the re-injury caused by the accident.

Keep in mind that while the Eggshell Doctrine is intended to assist those with preexisting conditions, these cases are not always easy to prove and it is important to contact a trusted, reputable personal injury attorney to discuss the merits of your case.


If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, then you should take the appropriate steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact a trusted, respectable personal injury attorney today.


For over 60 years our firm has been successfully helping people who have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness. We have been nationally ranked for decades by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 law firm, which is the highest-ranking that can be received. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas have dedicated their careers to continuing the firm’s legacy of superior legal representation.


Remember that we never charge a fee unless we win. Call us today so that we may answer your questions, help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, and recover the compensation that you deserve.


We work hard to make sure each and every client gets the attention that they deserve. We appreciate feedback from our clients and reviews are validation of our work. Every 5-star review that we receive lets us know that our services were appreciated by our clients.


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