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Definition of Doctrine of Avoidable Consequences

Doctrine of avoidable consequences is the legal principle that requires the injured party to minimize their damages. For instance, a person who suffered injury due to a medical malpractice case should take reasonable efforts to get medical care and find a cure for their condition. If there has been a breach of contract the plaintiff should make reasonable efforts to mitigate the breach.

For example, if the landlord sues a tenant who breaks the lease agreement the landlord is required to attempt to find a new renter as soon as possible. If the landlord fails to attempt to find a renter until the current lease agreement expired, the court may decide that they did not take the necessary steps to reduce their loss and will not award the landlord rent for all the months which were remaining on the rental contract when it was breached by the defendant.

Reasonable efforts only must be made, and what is considered "reasonable" will vary by case and common sense. If the courts decide the plaintiff did not attempt to mitigate the damages they may decide to reduce or bar compensation for the loss.

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