The defendant in a personal injury case has the right to allege the commission of negligence on the part of the plaintiff. By the same token, the defendant’s attorney might claim that the plaintiff did not keep the negative effects of his or her injury in check.
What reasonable steps can plaintiffs take, in order to fight such allegations?
• Visit a local physician as soon as possible, following the accident’s occurrence
• Take those steps that prevent a pile up of damages
• Never refuse treatment for an illogical reason
• Never disregard totally the advice that has come from a medical professional
What sort of steps would the insurance company view as unreasonable or unnecessary?
• Spending a great deal of money on the diagnosis of an injury
• Traveling a great distance to see a specialist, when there is one closer to home
• Seeking a second opinion, when the treating physician has discouraged the undertaking of such an effort
Sometimes the insurance company suggests that the plaintiff should have taken an unreasonable step. That sort of action might be taken if the insurance company has learned that the plaintiff has a chronic medical condition. After learning that fact, the insurer might encourage the company’s representative to suggest that the plaintiff should have used some type of safety device.
An example of this approach was tried a few years ago. The insurer discovered that the plaintiff’s medical history mentioned a ventricular shunt. Consequently, the insurer’s representative suggested that the claimant/plaintiff should have been wearing 2 seat belts at the time of the collision. Yet, no neurosurgeon has ever pushed for the installation of extra seat belts in cars. That fact underscores the unreasonable nature of the representative’s suggestion.
Plaintiffs must work to mitigate all damages that includes loss of income The plaintiff is expected to search for alternative employment. The plaintiff must also mitigate the extent of property damage. Consequently, after a car accident, the claimant should get the damaged vehicle repaired as rapidly as possible. A delay could result in the appearance of an additional dent. So, the insurance company might get stuck paying for the removal of that same dent.
Effects of a plaintiff’s failure to mitigate the losses
An Injury Lawyer in Kingston knows that a plaintiff that fails to mitigate his or her losses should expect to witness a decrease in the size of the awarded compensation package, especially if the case were to go to court. The jury would need to calculate the percent of the loss that had resulted from the plaintiff’s failure to undertake the necessary mitigation actions.
The plaintiff receives money that covers the claimed damages. The plaintiff’s compensation package does not include funds that can be used to cover any unclaimed damages.