Generally, mitigation means to minimize the degree of any harm or loss. In Florida, plaintiffs have an obligation to reduce the financial and physical damages they suffered. If you fail to mitigate, the recovery of your injuries may be significantly reduced. A person harmed by someone else has a legal duty to avoid or minimize damages. Simply put, a plaintiff should not act in ways that could worsen their circumstances.
An example of mitigating damages is getting the necessary medical treatment and following the instructions of your doctor. Another example could be finding a less paying job that meets your new physical and mental circumstances. Consequently, you decrease your salary losses caused by the incident, even if this new job is not satisfying.
If you are a personal injury victim and need information on what steps to follow, you should contact a Tampa personal injury attorney to guide you through the process.
Even when the person suffering a personal injury was not at fault for the accident, taking reasonable steps to avoid further expenses or damage is mandatory. The court will not approve recovering damages that could be avoided if appropriate action was taken. An injured person should act in good faith and with due diligence when seeking treatment or alternative employment.
What If I Don’t Mitigate My Damages?
If you do not mitigate your damages, your total compensation amount will be reduced to the amount you would get if you did. Plaintiff’s excuses against mitigation like laziness, ignorance, or fear will not be accepted in court. Furthermore, if you refuse treatment or delay seeking medical treatment, it will lead to mitigation failure and affect your damages recovery.
Suppose you miss your doctor appointments, and your medical condition worsens because you did not follow your treatment correctly. You will not be awarded compensation for all your medical costs. It will be best for you to return to your doctor after treatment and keep medical records to describe your healing process. This way, you can avoid mitigation problems when proving your case in court.
Furthermore, if you fail to get damage mitigation, the defendant will use it to affirm their defense. If they succeed, your losses recovery will be severely minimized.
Alternative treatment, like chiropractic care, or homeopathy, should be avoided. However, if combined with traditional medical treatment in serious injuries, the court may find this behavior reasonable.
A plaintiff must act as a reasonably prudent person and accept treatment for their injuries. If you refused medical treatment that would alleviate and cure your injuries, you would not be able to claim compensation for them. Moreover, if you fail to follow your doctor’s advice and, as a result, your condition does not improve, or your injury aggravates, your damages to be recovered will be reduced. There are cases, of course, that a seriously injured person may deny being subjected to surgery due to the high risk of a bad outcome. In such a case, the court will judge this as reasonable behavior.
If you failed to promptly seek medical attendance for your injuries because the damage did not seem serious, it might be considered reasonable. Nevertheless, if delaying getting treatment was the cause of the harm, you will not be allowed compensation.
Similarly, if your injuries do not permit you to return to work, but you were offered a different job suitable for your new conditions, you should accept it. In case you reject that position, and your case goes to trial, the amount for wages loss compensated to you will be reduced by the salaries you would have earned if you had taken the job.
As a plaintiff, you must prove that you made reasonable efforts to find suitable employment. After a personal injury accident, you may need to work much fewer hours or even resign. You must seek out another job, and you must prove this effort if required in court. The defendant will try to prove that you stopped trying to find a job and mitigate your wage loss. No matter the difficulties in finding a job, you should keep searching and protect yourself from mitigation failure.
Speak To A Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida
If you or someone you love suffer from injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts, seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa, FL, at Winters and Yonker law firm. Contact us today for your free consultation appointment to discuss your questions about your duty to mitigate.