Your Duty To Mitigate Damages And How It Can Impact Your Settlement
When you’ve been injured, even through the negligence of another party, you have a legal obligation to minimize the damages. This legal obligation includes making responsible choices about medical treatment, your financial well-being, and your overall lifestyle. If you do not fulfill this duty, the defendant in your injury case can claim that the value of your injuries would be less if you exercised ordinary care, reasonable judgment, and due diligence, reducing the value of your settlement.
Decisions That Could Impact The Value Of Your Damages
There are several actions you can take that can negatively impact the value of your damages. Here are some of the key decisions the defendant will use to reduce your claim:
- Failing To Seek Medical Attention: An injured party is required to seek medical attention in order to legally prove their claim. However, you can also lose your right to a medical claim if you wait too long to see a doctor. This is especially true if waiting exacerbated the injury.
- Refusing Medical Advice: You are required to follow your doctor’s advice and follow the treatment regimen. If you disregard their treatment recommendations, you could lose the value of your medical damages and other damages like lost wages, loss of earning, and loss of consortium.
- Electing Out Of Surgery: Electing out of surgery is considered a form of refusing medical advice. This is especially important if the surgery could have reduced the permanency of the injury. However, electing out of surgery is more complicated than refusing medical advice and the reasons will be examined more closely. Still, if you elect out of a recommended surgery it can negatively impact the value of your damages.
- Pursuing Alternative Treatment Options: Many people prefer holistic and natural treatments over more conventional treatments. However, regardless of efficacy, getting acupuncture or using essential oils can work against you if you have chosen these treatments over the recommendations of your doctor. Also, if you skip seeing a doctor entirely and opt for alternative remedies, this can damage the value of your claim as it is comparable to not seeking medical attention.
- Not Working: An injury may be so severe, it impacts your ability to work your normal job. This is especially true if you have a very physical job in construction or law enforcement. However, if your injuries do not prevent you from a different line of work, say something more sedentary like an administrator or quality inspector. If you have not taken steps to train for a new job or find a job that works with your injury, you may see a reduction in the value of your lost wages or loss of earnings.
All of these decisions can negatively impact the value of your settlement. You need to make sure that you are mitigating your damages in order to ensure you receive the full value of your claim. If you are unsure how to mitigate your damages, talk to the knowledgeable attorneys at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, & Walsh. We are familiar with all the tactics that defendants will use to reduce the value of your claim and can help you make responsible decisions throughout the legal process to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!