Rarely does a day go by here in Florida when someone is not injured due to some sort of accident. If an accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, the victim may consider filing a personal injury claim to receive compensation for damages such as medical bills and lost wages. However, the victim has certain responsibilities when it comes to such claims.
The law requires the victim to take reasonable measures to lessen the damages the accident caused. The victim must act in good faith, use reasonable judgment and diligently exercise ordinary care in obtaining treatment for any injuries suffered. The failure to lessen, or mitigate, potential damages could cause a victim to lose the right to some or all restitution that may be received through the filing of a claim.
For example, if a victim refuses to undergo a treatment that would increase the possibility of a successful recovery, he or she might not be able to recover damages for what may be seen as a preventable permanent injury. If a reasonable person would have consented to a surgery that would lessen the impact of an injury, but a victim failed to undergo such a procedure, restitution may not be possible. If the risks of a procedure far outweigh the potential benefits, a victim may decline to undergo the operation and still seek damages.
Many Florida residents who become the victims of someone else’s negligence may not know what their responsibilities are in a personal injury claim. If a victim faces a decision regarding whether or not to seek or consent to certain medical treatment, it may be a good idea to discuss the situation with an attorney to determine whether declining certain medical treatment would interfere with the ability to obtain restitution. This consultation could prove even more important if the victim could face a lengthy recovery or lifelong repercussions because of an injury.
Source: FindLaw, “The Plaintiff’s Duty to Mitigate Damages“, Accessed on May 20, 2017