If you have been injured due to the negligence or reckless acts of another person, you have a right to be restored to your previous condition in terms of health and finances. Speaking with a qualified and reputable personal injury attorney will get you back on the road to recovery.
Did you know you could have responsibilities yourself to your own personal injury case?
One such primary responsibility is the duty to mitigate, that is, the “duty to minimize the effects and loss related to his or her injuries.” It applies to the damages stage during a personal injury civil suit. This duty applies to any person in a personal injury action, regardless of whatever role the person had in his or her own injury. The duty to mitigate the plaintiff’s further harm applies to the existing harm, after the injury has occurred.
Imagine a scenario where a person requires surgery following experiencing a personal injury. The surgery, in this example, results in a compounding injury that was not incurred at the same time as the initial injury. The surgery, however, was required as a result of the injury so under the laws of tort in Missouri, the additional post-surgery injury would be recoverable from the initial negligent actor.
The issue of mitigation arises where the defendant asserts the defense of whether a reasonable person would have undergone the particular surgery in question. If the defendant establishes that the surgery was reasonable, then the defendant is on the hook (so to speak) for the resulting secondary injury.
If, however, the decision to undergo the surgical procedure was outside of the normal course prescribed by doctors, or it was an elective surgery for example, then the defendant would not be liable for the second post-surgery injury because it was not the proximate cause of the defendant’s negligence.
The duty to mitigate the plaintiff’s own harm lies solely with the plaintiff in a personal injury claim. If you have been injured by someone else’s negligent acts, and have not yet filed a claim, take care to protect yourself. A wise way to protect yourself is by speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney on how the duty applies to your situation.