Posted on July 26, 2013 in Personal Injury
There are many confusing legal terms when it comes to Oklahoma’s personal injury laws. The “duty of a plaintiff to mitigate damages” is one legal area that you may find perplexing. However, a proficient Oklahoma City car accident lawyer can explain all the terms related to your case and answer your questions so you fully understand your legal options.
What is the duty to mitigate?
Many plaintiffs believe that, under Oklahoma law, if they did not cause an accident and they can prove a third-party’s negligence was the cause of the injuries sustained, they have no further obligations to meet to recover for their damages. However, personal injury plaintiffs in Oklahoma have a “duty to mitigate” their damages. In essence, the duty to mitigate damages means that you must take reasonable steps to minimize the financial impact of your harm caused by the accident.
What are “reasonable steps” to mitigate damages?
The goal of the duty to mitigate is to prevent a plaintiff from simply sitting back and letting damages accrue without doing something to limit them. In many cases, a court will not allow a plaintiff to collect damages past the point at which he or she could have reasonably stopped the accrual. Oklahoma personal injury law does not allow a plaintiff to unfairly profit from the defendant’s tortious conduct. However, the “reasonableness” component means that you must only do what is reasonable, under the circumstances, to minimize the damages. Below are a few examples of reasonable steps to limit damages:
If your injuries prevent you from performing the duties of your regular employment, you may have a duty to mitigate damages by attempting to find another job.
If your doctor prescribes a rehabilitation or therapy program for your injured leg and you fail to undergo the treatment, your amount of damages may be reduced by the percentage of harm the rehabilitation could have prevented.
If you slice your hand while on the job and you do not seek medical attention, and your injury continues to get worse over time, you may not be able to recover for the damages that result from the infection that could have been prevented by seeking immediate care.
Follow the guidance of a qualified attorney
An Oklahoma City car accident lawyer will guide you through your personal injury matter, including fully explaining your duty to mitigate your damages. The sooner you involve your attorney after your accident, the more helpful he or she will be to you.
Contact experienced personal injury attorneys for help
The attorneys at the Kanelopoulos Law Firm have more than 35 years of combined experience in negotiating and litigating personal injury matters. We understand the tactics used by insurance companies, employers and government agencies to reduce payouts to you. Our injury lawyers in Oklahoma City conduct the legal and investigative footwork needed to maximize your monetary recovery. Let us help you obtain a positive result in your case.
Kanelopoulos Law Firm
4549 NW 36th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73122
In order for a plaintiff to obtain the best recovery possible for injuries resulting from another party’s negligence, it is imperative to understand the duty to mitigate damages. The attorneys at the Kanelopoulos Law Firm provide the guidance you need.