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Examination Timing: 00H01M14S

Tom drives negligently and as a result, has an accident. Emma, a passenger in his car, is hurt in the accident. Emma had a serious pre-existing back condition of which Tom was aware. This condition is exacerbated by the accident, causing Emma to become paralysed. 


Which of the following statements best describes whether Emma can claim damages for her paralysis from Tom?

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Under the principle of "taking your victim as you find them," also known as the "eggshell skull rule," a defendant is liable for the full extent of a plaintiff's injuries, even if the injuries are more severe due to a pre-existing condition. In this scenario, Tom must take Emma as he finds her, including her pre-existing back condition. Therefore, Emma can claim damages for her paralysis from Tom, as the exacerbation of her condition resulting in paralysis was caused by Tom's negligent driving.


Key Point: This question emphasizes the "eggshell skull rule" in tort law, which states that defendants are liable for the full extent of harm caused to plaintiffs, even if the plaintiffs' pre-existing vulnerabilities exacerbate the injuries. Understanding this principle is crucial for assessing liability and damages in personal injury cases.

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