A quick lesson in the Eggshell skull rule

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Personal Injury

Who are BL Claims Solicitors

BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

Some people might be worried about bringing a claim for personal injury because they have concerns about pre-existing injuries or health problems which although they have been aggravated or exacerbated by the accident, they are not directly linked with the Defendant's negligence.

The "eggshell skull" is a term used in law schools and by lawyers to describe an imaginary person who has an extremely thin skull that is as fragile as an eggshell, even though he looks completely normal. A normal person who is hit on the head would usually only suffer a bruise however, this imaginary person dies as a consequence.

The rule says a person who caused the harm is therefore answerable for the full extent of the injury which a claimant may suffer even where only slight injury would have been foreseeable in a person of normal fortitude. This rule applies in cases of Negligence. The idea is that the Defendant should compensate an injured person for the harm they actually caused, regardless of any pre-existing medical conditions which they may have. They should "take their victim as they find them".

Therefore, if someone has a reaction to something but that reaction is because the claimant has a pre-existing condition or is more sensitive to something, the defendant should be held liable for the injury. This rule ensures that a defendant will not escape liability merely by relying on the claimant’s vulnerability or particular nature.

BL Claims Solicitors are here to help

If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk