Your Role in Reducing Damages in a Personal Injury CaseIt may sound odd that the plaintiff in a personal injury case has an obligation to lower the damages potential as much as possible. By law, if you suffer an injury, minor or major, you can sue for damages, and therefore get compensation. Now, you also must follow the law in terms of the defendant paying you. You cannot delay decisions such as surgery, for example, if it might lower the damage costs for the defendant. Why does it work like that? What if you do refuse surgery? What happens if you don't cooperate with a doctor? And finally, what can you do to limit any problems?
Why You Have an Obligation
Yes, by law you have a right to damages. But you cannot take everything from the defendant either. Even if it's clearly their fault, by law they have rights too. This law makes sense, really. You cannot gouge companies, insurers, and private citizens for monies when you simply don't take the steps to lower the cost. Think of it from your perspective: would you want the injured plaintiff to be able to do everything at their own pace and on your dollar?
Laws on Reducing Damages
If the court or a jury finds that you are not following proper guidelines in mitigating damages, you may lose some of your lawsuit money. If you're hurt in an accident, you do get damages, but only those which are necessary.
Your Surgery Decision
One prime example of not finding ways to mitigate damages is choosing not to have surgery. Say you have a major injury which requires a surgery to make you better capable of taking care of yourself. The surgery will likely improve your condition, perhaps greatly. But if you decide not to take a surgery, and therefore you continue to need financial assistance for costs, you may be making a mistake. Again, this law is about lowering the damage potential; you and the defendant are both protected. In some cases, a surgery is not always obvious; you may have a minor injury or believe your injury is minor. So this does not mean you always have to go through surgery. It's something to talk about with a doctor and perhaps your personal injury lawyer.
Finding Medical Attention
You usually cannot wait too long to get your injury looked at. You need to be patient to see the extent of your injury before making your case, but that does not mean you seek no medical help at all. You need a doctor from the beginning, to make sure you're okay and that the injury won't become worse.
Taking Necessary Steps Working with a Doctor
You also need to follow the advice and direction of your doctor. If you refuse care, if you refuse therapy, if you don't take the necessary medication, then just as with avoiding surgery you may be hurting your personal injury case.
How can you limit problems? Follow the advice of your doctor, a lawyer, and seek documentation on your injury if not also on the laws in personal injury cases.