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What does it mean to mitigate damages?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | Personal Injury

A person who’s suffered an injury that was caused by the negligence of another person can often pursue a claim for compensation. While some people might think of this as easy, that’s not the case. Instead, personal injury claims are complex matters that must be carefully handled. 

Both sides have certain responsibilities in these cases. For the plaintiff, one duty is to mitigate the extent of their damages, whenever possible. This means that they must do what they can to keep the losses they’re suffering to a minimum.

How can a person mitigate the damages in a personal injury case?

In the simplest terms, mitigating your damages means that you must do the things that any ordinary person would do in the same situation to avoid incurring more losses than what’s reasonably necessary. While it’s up to the person to decide what steps they will take to do this, their failures can directly impact the compensation they’re due. 

For example, nobody can force an injured person to undergo specific medical treatments. If a person opts to decline certain treatments that the doctor recommends, the defendant wouldn’t be responsible for the consequences that stem from that person’s refusal to mitigate the damages. However, plaintiffs aren’t expected to go to extremes to mitigate their losses. For example, if the only possible way to recover from a condition involves risky, invasive surgery, refusal is not necessarily a failure to mitigate.

A personal injury claim is the complainant’s opportunity to attempt the recovery of the damages they’ve dealt with due to the injuries they suffered. Many factors go into these cases, so working with someone who’s familiar with this area of law can help to make your case, regardless of which side of the matter you’re on.