In Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia County, people are often injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. In many cases, these injuries can cause serious physical problems to the victim(s) that can have long lasting impacts on their quality of life. Often times, individuals are unaware of what type of the compensatory damages they can receive. In some situations, when a person is injured, they will have pre-existing conditions that will enhance the level of their injury. In situations such as these, it is essential that any individual who has been injured due to another’s actions, know what damages they are entitled to and how having an experienced attorney can help them achieve the outcome they deserve!
Pennsylvania’s “Eggshell Doctrine”
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the “Eggshell Doctrine” provides that any individual who harms another is liable for any and all damages that the injured party suffered regardless of whether or not another victim would have been injured to a lesser extent.
The term “eggshell”, is meant to illustrate that the guilty party takes the injured person as “they find them”. This rule basically means that, even if another person would have been injured less in the same exact situation as the injured party, the guilty party is still liable to the plaintiff for their damages. For example, a senior citizen who has had a history of back problems will most likely suffer a greater level of injury if they slip and fall in a store as opposed to a young teenager who has no history of back problems.
Generally this rule is meant to protect injured parties who have pre-existing conditions and their ability to recover for the injuries they incurred as a result of such conditions. Common examples of pre-existing conditions include:
- Neck surgery
- Back surgery
- Shoulder injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Burn Injuries
- Brain Trauma
The main reason that you should take immediate action following your injury is because, in order to be awarded compensation resulting from injury, you need to have evidence showing that an injury has occurred and that it has impacted your life in some way.
Report the Injury to the Establishment
Immediately following an injury, you should first report the incident to the proprietor, manager, and/or store employee of the establishment in which the injury occurred. Having this report on record will look very favorable in the eyes of the court because, if you did not report the incident to the owner and/or manager of the establishment, then the credibility of your injury could be called into question if your case ever went in front of a judge.
Document the Area in Which the Injury Occurred
If you are able to, document the scene in which the injury occurred. Generally, most individuals have camera phones and if you or someone you are with at the time of the incident has a camera phone, take photos/video of the scene. These photos can potentially be very valuable in showing that the establishment was not kept in a safe and orderly manner and/or the owner’s negligence caused your injury.
Speak With Any Known Witnesses
If your injury occurred at an establishment that is generally open to the public, chances are high that there were other individuals who witnessed the injury. If possible, get the contact information of any potential witnesses that saw the injury occur. Witnesses in a personal injury case can be an extremely helpful in your lawsuit because they can provide a neutral and unbiased account of what circumstances led to the injury occurring.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
It is essential that you seek immediate medical attention after a slip and fall injury has occurred. Once you are at a doctor’s office or hospital, make sure you clearly describe to the attendant what occurred and if you feel ANY pain resulting from the injury. Medical records are an essential aspect of any personal injury case and having them on file will be very useful to your lawsuit.
Compile Your Medical History Relating to Your Pre-existing Condition
For personal injury cases involving pre-existing conditions, it is paramount that the injured party have evidence of their medical history in order to show that their underlying condition was worsened due to the injury. In mostly all cases, the other party’s attorney will argue that the underlying injury was not worsened or connected to the injury that occurred. Having a detailed medical history is essential in helping prove your case. Moreover, expert testimony may also be required in order to show the causal connection between the underlying condition and the injury that occurred.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
While these incidents can often be a difficult situation to handle due to the financial, emotional and physical burden it places on the injured party, it is important to know that YOU have rights.
The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this process. Please contact us with any question about your or a loved ones specific injury. Our experienced staff and attorneys will ensure that your needs, concerns, and questions will be handled in a professional and courteous manner.