Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > The Duty to Mitigate Damages After an Accident

The Duty to Mitigate Damages After an Accident


Accident victims have a lot to deal with, like getting medical care, staying on top of day-to-day duties, paying household expenses, and if necessary, pursuing a legal claim. On top of all this, claimants also have a duty to mitigate their damages and failing to fulfill this responsibility could end up hurting a person’s chances of recovery. Read on to learn more about a claimant’s obligation to mitigate his or her damages after an accident.

What Does it Mean to Mitigate Damages? 

Mitigating one’s damages involves an accident victim taking reasonable actions to help their recovery move forward and keep their injuries from getting worse, such as:

  • Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin immediately and a record linking an injury to a particular accident can be created;
  • Following a doctor’s plan of care, which includes obtaining ongoing medical treatment or refraining from engaging in certain activities to avoid aggravating the condition; and
  • Attending follow-up medical appointments for treatment and physical therapy.

Taking these steps ensures that an accident victim has the best possible chance of recovering from his or her physical injuries. It also, however, can improve a claimant’s chances of filing a successful claim for damages.

What Happens if a Claimant Fails to Mitigate Damages? 

Failing to take these steps can have repercussions not only for a person’s health, but for an eventual legal claim as well. If, for instance, a claimant fails to obey a doctor’s restrictions and his or her injuries worsen and require additional medical care, there’s a good chance that the at-fault party’s insurer will refuse to cover those costs. Instead, the injured party would find him or herself on the hook for those medical bills, as well as any additional lost wages incurred because that person couldn’t go back to work. Other examples of failing to mitigate damages after an accident include:

  • Failing to seek medical attention soon after the accident;
  • Ignoring a doctor’s recommended plan of care;
  • Going back to work too soon;
  • Engaging in restricted activities; and
  • Obtaining surgical care before attempting other forms of less invasive treatment.

Basically, failing to fulfill one’s legal duty to mitigate damages after an accident gives insurers the leverage they need to reduce or even deny a claim outright, which can have devastating financial consequences for accident victims.

Call Our Office or Contact Us Online to Set Up a Free Consultation 

Accident victims, besides trying to focus on healing and moving on with their lives will also need to attempt to minimize the impact of their injuries on their health and finances. Although this can often feel unfair to those who weren’t at fault for their accident in the first place, it’s important to take certain steps to avoid worsening their injuries. For help ensuring that you aren’t adding to the cost of your recovery at the expense of your health and legal claim, please call the experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers at Anderson & Anderson today.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn