When a person suffers injury in an accident of any kind where another person’s negligence is at fault, they may be entitled to personal injury damages. However, while they are able to recover compensation for their injuries and other losses, it’s important to note that the injured parties are also under legal obligation to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to minimize the damages in their case.

In as much as it is possible, the injured party must always ensure they take steps to prevent further injury to themselves and seek medical attention to prevent their condition from worsening, this in an effort to limit the loss related to their injuries. This obligation also extends to seeking re-employment or retraining (should employment in their line of work is no longer possible) when loss of income results from their injuries. 

It’s important to understand that a defendant in most personal injury claims may seek to demonstrate that the plaintiff either failed to take appropriate steps to seek medical help or employment to limit the damages for which they are ultimately liable.

After all, it’s in the best interest of the plaintiff to take reasonable steps to avoid further loss resulting from the accident and to minimize injuries they suffer. Courts can find certain damages or a portion of damages presented for recovery could have been avoided if the plaintiff had acted in good faith and exercised ordinary care and reasonable judgment when seeking medical treatment and alternative employment in their case.

One such way plaintiffs hurt their chances at recovery is by refusing surgery when recommended. A plaintiff may consult with their physician to pursue a proper course of treatment for injuries resulting from an accident, but the fact is they can’t be forced to consent to that course. When that happens, a court may indeed rule that they cannot recover requested damages in their claim because they cannot sue for injuries that could have been avoided or reduced significantly should surgery or other reasonable treatments have been pursued as advised.

Furthermore, if an injury ultimately has a level of permanency that could have been avoided with surgery or other treatment, particularly when a reasonable person would have consented to such treatment under the same circumstances, compensation for that permanency may be denied due to a failure to mitigate damages.

If the recommended procedure is one that is commonplace, involves minimal risk, and is typically successful, something like a fear of anesthesia is not likely to sway a judge or jury when the defendant argues that the damages would have been much less if the plaintiff had pursued a standard course of treatment or recommended surgery.

It’s important to note that in deciding whether or not a course of treatment was a reasonable course in your case, a court might consider the probability of whether or not that treatment would have resulted in full recovery or alleviation of the injuries suffered.

If you have been injured in an accident, it’s always important to seek proper medical treatment at the very outset to mitigate damages and to ensure you have the best chances for a full recovery. 

If you would like to speak with a personal injury attorney about your own accident claim, please call Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago at 773.881.9000. We have the experience and the track record of success you need to recover the full compensation to which you are entitled in your case.