Ballin Law

THE “EGGSHELL SKULL” RULE

Did a new injury make an old condition eggshellworse or act up again? Massachusetts law has your back, so to speak. An injured person has the right to be compensated for a new injury, which aggravates a pre-existing condition.

Since 1935, the law in Massachusetts has been clear that an injured person has the right to be compensated by a negligent third party for the aggravation of pre-existing condition. This is the case regardless of how bad the condition was in the past or was at the time of the recent incident. All that is required is that the condition is made worse. Moreover, the law applies the same to police officers and firefighters who are injured on duty as it would to any other employee injured at work.

An example often used in law school to explain this rule is when a negligent third party cuts a person who is a hemophiliac and that person subsequently bleeds to death from the cut, the third party is responsible for that person’s death, even if another person without this rare condition would not have died from the cut. Essentially, the responsible party must compensate an injured person regardless of how susceptible the person may be to injury. Fittingly, this is what is known as the “eggshell skull” rule.

Over the years, we have successfully brought claims despite the fact that our client’s injury was to a part of the body which had been injured or operated on in the past. As long as the injury is made worse than it was before, the negligent party is responsible for aggravating the condition.

For more information about your right to make a claim involving a pre-existing condition, please feel free to email or call me with any questions.

By Attorney Jared Ballin

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Continued Success

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