If one of them gets into an auto accident the at-fault driver will be liable for the full extent of their injury, even if the victim suffers from a pre-existing weakness or medical condition.
Ohio law follows the well-established “Egg Shell Plaintiff” doctrine. This means that even if a person’s body is as delicate as the shell of an egg, and someone who was unaware of the condition caused the “shell” to unexpectedly break, that person would be held responsible for all damages resulting from the wrongful contact. A person is even responsible if he didn’t know that such damages were possible, or if that person did not want to cause such a severe injury.
Lets look how the Egg Shell rule is applied to three very different people:
- So let’s say that Super Bowl Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sitting in his car at an intersection. While waiting for the light to change a careless driver fails to pay attention and negligently rear ends Aaron’s car. Being that he is a professional athlete, Aaron suffers very minor injuries; in fact it’s nothing more than a stiff neck.
- Now, instead of a professional athlete, let’s put a middle aged football fan in the driver’s seat. Similarly he is struck by the careless driver. However, in this instance the fan suffers some serious injuries, including a dislocated shoulder and a low back injury.
- Ok, so now let’s put Grandma into the driver’s seat. Grandma is 85 years old, she has a bad hip, two bad knees and suffers from osteoporosis. When she is struck by the careless driver, she is severely injured, spends 6 weeks in the hospital and has huge medical bills, all because of her pre-existing medical conditions.
Despite causing the exact same car wreck, the careless driver must compensate each of the three drivers according to their injuries.
If your pre-existing medical condition was made worse during a car wreck, you may be entitled to money damages. Please contact our office for help.