What Does “Failure to Mitigate Damages” Mean?

If you intend to bring a personal injury claim, you will have a duty to take reasonable measures to minimize the damages you incur. This is called “mitigating damages.” If you fail to mitigate your damages, the opposing party will likely contend that your financial recovery should be reduced.

According to your personal injury attorney, there are many reasons why such a dispute might arise. Examples include:

  • You Miss Doctor’s Appointments: Anything you do that has the potential to prolong your recovery or aggravate your injuries might cause the opposing party to assert that you have failed to mitigate your damages. Depending on the circumstances, missing doctor’s appointments might cause certain symptoms to go unnoticed, which may lead to avoidable complications and higher medical costs. Be sure to attend all appointments with your healthcare providers, even if your symptoms seem to be improving.
  • You Fail to Fill Your Prescriptions: According to Harvard Health Publishing, millions of patients fail to take their medications due to the high cost. As tempting as it may be to skip on such a major expense—especially if your financial security is already in jeopardy—doing so has the potential to harm your claim. Here again, your medical records might be all that the insurance company needs to argue that you have failed to mitigate your damages.
  • You Return to Strenuous Activity Too Early: If you typically live an active and engaged lifestyle, you might find yourself asking, “How could the insurance company possibly find out that I’ve attended a social gathering, done housework, run errands, or returned to work without my doctor’s approval?” Unfortunately, there are all sorts of ways the opposing party might discover these transgressions. The insurance adjuster might monitor your social media accounts, for example—as well as the accounts of your close connections—for posts that show you attending social events. You may even be placed under surveillance. The more significant your damages—and spinal cord injuries do tend to result in substantial damages—the more incentive the insurer will have to invest time and resources into challenging your claim.
  • You Overpay for Injury-Related Expenses: As your Port St. Lucie spinal cord personal injury attorney can explain, there are all sorts of economic damages that might be recoverable depending on the facts of your case. Examples include medical bills, lost income, domestic help, child care, transportation, and home and vehicle modifications. If, however, you grossly overpay for these expenses, the defendant might say that you have failed to mitigate your damages.
  • You Incur Unnecessary Economic Damages: You will only be able to pursue reasonable and necessary damages that accrued as a result of the tort. If the opposing party can prove that the damages you are claiming were unnecessary, they might not be recoverable with the help of your personal injury attorney.

Our Port St. Lucie spinal cord personal injury attorneys can help you avoid disputes over a failure to mitigate damages. If you’re ever concerned that a particular activity or decision might have an adverse impact on your claim, call 772-266-5555 to speak with a personal injury attorney