When an individual suffers injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the injury victim has a duty to take reasonable measures for reducing the effects and loss to their injuries. Even if you’ve suffered injury through no fault of your own, you are obligated to minimize the consequences of your injuries and prevent further loss. The “mitigation of damages” rule denies the injury victim’s right to recover that portion of their damages that the court or jury determines as having been avoidable. Examples of mitigating damages include:
Disregarding medical advice/refusing treatment – if your doctor recommends some form or treatment or gives you advice, you cannot disregard these recommendations or their advice and then claim damages for persistent conditions because you failed to follow the doctor’s advice or have the recommended treatment. If a reasonable person followed this advice because the failure to do so would result in further aggravation of the injury or a lack of improvement in their condition, damages will be reduced.
• Electing not to have surgery – although a physician may recommend having surgery to treat your injuries, you can choose not to have the surgery performed. However, you may not recover damages for your injuries if their consequences could’ve been avoided or decreased by a surgical procedure or other form of treatment.
• Failure to see a doctor immediately – the failure to seek medical attention for injuries that a reasonable individual would consider can decrease your potential for recovery. For example, you refuse medical treatment for what you think is an ankle sprain when in reality, it is actually broken. In this case damages might not be allowed.
• Not seeking new employment – if you can no longer perform your current job as a result of your injuries but can work in other fields, you cannot avoid seeking a new job. The failure to pursue new employment will not enhance the number of damages you recover. In fact, it will do the exact opposite and reduce the amount of damages that you may be entitled to.
• Using an alternative treatment – injury victims are using homeopathic, holistic, and chiropractic remedies as well as acupuncture and home remedies in ever-increasing numbers instead of seeing a physician to treat their injuries. In most cases, this may be unreasonable and lead to a reduction in the amount of damages you receive.
If you have questions regarding your obligation to mitigate or reduce damages, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer in Richmond Hill. We have worked with innumerable accident victims and understand your current situation. That is why it is important to work with an experienced law firm today.