Free Consultation: (650) 345-8484 Tap Here to Call Us

A Law Firm You Can Trust.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

A Law Firm You Can Trust.

California Man Injured in Low-Speed Crash Wins $1M Verdict in ‘Eggshell Plaintiff’ Case

A man injured in a rear-end accident won his case and a $1 million verdict in Los Angeles County recently, according to a report. Even though the accident was a low-speed one, the injured driver still recovered more than $960,000 in pain and suffering damages because he had a preexisting condition that made his pain and suffering much worse. The outcome of this case demonstrates that having a preexisting condition that makes you especially susceptible to harm doesn’t prevent you from recovering the full amount of your damages.


The accident victim in this case was W.D., a 65-year-old student, who was rear-ended at a low speed by E.M. while both were traveling in the farthest left of the southbound lanes of the Harbor Freeway. W.D.’s sedan suffered only minor damage, and, when police responded to the accident, W.D. stated that he was not injured and refused an ambulance.

A few days later, however, W.D. went to a chiropractor about his neck pain. A few months after that initial visit, he underwent an MRI that showed two disc herniations at C5-6 and C6-7 and a third one at L5-S1. Due to W.D.’s heart problems and diabetic neuropathy, he was not a good candidate for decompression surgery. Instead, W.D.’s neurosurgeon recommended a mixture of physical therapy, acupuncture, and pain management therapy.

W.D. sued E.M. for his injuries. W.D. alleged in his lawsuit that he had incurred $41,000 in past medical expenses and that his preexisting susceptibility to pain meant that he had already suffered extensive pain and suffering, with much more pain and suffering in the future.

Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in excess of $1 million. W.D. received $41,000 in past medical expenses, along with another $37,000 in future medical expenses. The lion’s share of W.D.’s damages were pain and suffering, for which the jury awarded $195,000 for past pain and suffering and $768,000 in future pain and suffering.

The success of W.D.’s case, particularly with regard to his pain and suffering award, is an example of what’s known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. California is one of the states that recognizes the common law rule, which says, basically, that a person who injures another person through their negligence (or other tortious conduct) takes the victim as they find them. What does that mean? That means that, if you are someone who is prone to being injured or prone to an abnormally high degree of pain and suffering due to some preexisting condition, you are still entitled to recover the full measure of the damages you suffered, and the person who injured you is not allowed to avoid liability simply because of your preexisting condition.

To make sure that you seek the full amount of compensation you deserve for the harm you suffered in an auto accident caused by someone else, you need skilled and experienced injury counsel on your case. The diligent San Mateo car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have been helping injured people pursue the compensation they deserve for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

California Teen’s Excessive Speed Leads Jury to Hand Out $5M Judgment in U-Turn Accident, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published Dec. 7, 2016

California Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs in Suit Based on Dangerous Condition of Public Property, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published Dec. 29, 2015

Car Accident

Client Reviews

    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

Submit a Law Firm Client Review