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Injured Person's Duty To Mitigate Losses

It is generally expected that when a person causes injury to another due to negligence, he will have to compensate the person for losses incurred as a result of the injury. The level of compensation is not always the same for all injuries and can be affected by a variety of issues, including the actions taken by the injured person after the injury occurs.

A person who suffers an injury usually seeks to be compensated for all the medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other such expenses that are incurred as a result of the accident. If the person is successful at trial, he may receive the entire amount requested if the jury feels it is warranted due to the evidence presented. However, in some situations, the award may be reduced because the injured person failed to take steps after the injury that would have reduced the losses incurred. This is referred to as a duty to mitigate losses, and it is an issue that would be raised by the defense in an attempt to reduce the amount awarded.

What Is A Duty To Mitigate?

The duty to mitigate requires an injured person to take reasonable steps after suffering an injury. If reasonable steps were not taken, the injured person should not recover damages for any losses that could have been avoided through reasonable action. For example, a person has a serious injury to his leg, yet has refused be treated for the injury. This leads to the injury getting worse and the leg requiring to be amputated. Under the duty to mitigate, the injured person would be able to recover for the initial injury, and any expected treatment and pain and suffering related to that initial injury. However, he may not be able to recover damages for the amputation, as it would not have happened had treatment been sought earlier.

The duty to mitigate would not be used to penalize an injured person who could not have taken reasonable steps, because they have another pre-existing condition that kept them from doing so. For example, if a person cannot have surgery to treat an injury because he has a heart condition, his refusal or inability to have the surgery is not unreasonable because the surgery poses a serious risk.

There are other exceptions to this duty to mitigate. If a person refuses medical treatment due to religious reasons, this would not necessarily be considered an unreasonable refusal to act. Determining what is reasonable is determined by a judge or jury.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney For Legal Assistance

If you suffered an injury as a result of another person’s actions, it is important to act quickly, both in seeking medical attention and legal assistance. Expenses can pile up fast, and seeking the compensation you deserve can help handle these expenses. Contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio personal injury attorney Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Offices for a free consultation. Call us TODAY at (614) 467-8474to schedule your appointment.