"Eggshell Plaintiff" Rule Leads to Maximum Recovery

Our client, a 78-year old woman, suffered relatively minor injuries in a low-impact motor vehicle accident that occurred near Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix, Arizona. However, just 11 days after the accident, she suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome.

If the heart attack had not occurred, our client’s medical bills would have totaled less than $2,500. The medical bills related directly to treatment of the heart attack, however, totaled over $77,000. The person responsible for the accident had $100,000 in liability
insurance coverage at the time of the accident. Because our client had no past history of any cardiac conditions, we successfully argued that the heart attack was a direct result of the trauma and anxiety she suffered as a result of the accident. Additionally, because of our client’s age, we cited the “eggshell plaintiff” rule which provides that a person is held liable for injuries which are more serious because of a person’s particular vulnerability to that injury.

The other driver’s insurance company paid policy limits of $100,000. Shortly thereafter, our client’s insurance company paid an additional $15,000 pursuant to the underinsured motorist coverage afforded under her own policy.

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