Eggshell Skull Law and Legal Definition

The eggshell skull rule is a legal doctrine that says the wrongdoer takes the victim in the condition he/she finds him. There is no allowance for an already weakened state of the injured party. If a defendant negligently injures someone, the defendant is responsible for all the consequences, whether they were foreseeable or not.

The rule is applied in tort and criminal cases involving a plaintiff in a vulnerable, weakened state or suffering from a medical condition. A rebuttal to the eggshell skull rule is the crumbling skull rule. This rule argues that the harm suffered by the victim was inevitable and the defendant's acts only had a minimal effect upon the already deteriorating circumstances.