Personal Injury Law And The Duty To Mitigate
One of the aspects of a personal injury claim is the duty to mitigate. This simply means that an injured party has a duty to minimize his or her damages. This is one area that an accident attorney explains in the first office visit following an injury. Mitigation may seem to be backwards as the injured party was hurt as the result of another person’s negligence. It sounds like the injured party is helping the person who caused the problem in the first place. However, when you examine just what mitigation means and involves, it does make sense. A Bakersfield personal injury lawyer would explain exactly what duty to mitigate means under California law, but the points raised here are a good starting point for an injured party to use in understanding the concept. Just remember the insurance company for the party that was negligent is going to expect the injured party to mitigate damages.
Initial Medical Treatment
There are several good reasons to seek immediate medical treatment after an accident. That treatment generally involves a trip to the emergency room. One reason is prompt treatment of the injuries. Another is proof that the injuries were the result of the accident. The third reason is mitigation. If an injured party puts off medical treatment, the insurance adjuster and/or attorney representing the insurance company can claim that the injuries became worse due to the failure to seek medical treatment. A simple injury can turn into a serious problem due to the delay in treatment. They may be internal bleeding not apparent at the time of the accident. A day’s wait in seeking treatment can make it much worse. This is the reason an accident attorney will ask the potential client whether or not they sought medical treatment immediately.
Following Medical Advice
It is very important to follow medical advice. If the emergency room physician prescribes medicine, fill the prescription and take the pills as ordered. Make any recommended follow up medical treatment. That may include an appointment with a specialist. Whatever it is, do not put off treatment. The reason is the same as initial medical treatment. Duty to mitigate means following through on all medical treatment until fully released by the treating physicians. This can include surgery if that is the recommendation. This is the only way to fully evaluate the value of a personal injury claim and a Bakersfield car accident lawyer needs to know the full extent of the medical treatment.
Lost income is a component of a personal injury case. There are two aspects of this claim. In order to receive compensation, a person must have a letter or medical note from a physician that they should stay out of work due to the accident. A person must follow those instructions. Do not go back to work early as that can be seen as a failure to mitigate damages. A person can aggravate the injuries by returning to work early and an insurance can deny that part of the claim. Always take all of the time off as prescribed. The second part involves returning to work when released by a physician. Once a person gets the medical note that he or she can return to work, an insurance company is not going to pay any further lost wages.
The duty to mitigate damages is an important aspect of any personal injury case. The key is prompt medical treatment and follow up care. Follow all medical advice as to treatment, medication, and work restrictions. This will allow an accident attorney to negotiate and receive a proper settlement.