If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you may be entitled to compensation under Virginia law. However, you also have a duty to mitigate your damages.
Understanding what this means is essential so you do not weaken your claim. An experienced car accident attorney can advise you on how to fulfill this duty and obtain the damages you deserve from the negligent driver's insurance company.
Understanding the Duty to Mitigate Damages After a Norfolk Auto Collision
The duty to mitigate damages means that as an auto collision victim, you have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to reduce the harm caused by the accident. This duty requires you to take action to minimize your losses and avoid any unnecessary expenses or damages.
If you fail to take reasonable steps to reduce your damages, the negligent driver's insurance company may claim you are not entitled to all the compensation you seek for your injuries. They might argue that you contributed to the severity of your injuries by failing to take reasonable steps to reduce your damages.
How to Mitigate Your Damages
Fortunately, fulfilling your duty to mitigate your damages is relatively easy. Here are some ways you can take reasonable steps to minimize your damages after a car accident:
- Medical expenses. Seek prompt medical attention after the auto collision, even if you do not believe you were hurt. Follow your doctor's orders, attend all scheduled appointments, take your medications, and follow any recommended physical therapy program. The insurance adjuster could use your failure to follow your doctor's advice or having gaps in your medical treatment against you in settlement negotiations and court.
- Lost wages. If you cannot work due to your injuries, notify your employer immediately and provide documentation of your medical condition and expected recovery time. If possible, explore alternative work arrangements, such as part-time work or working from home. Do not prolong your time off work if you can return to work.
- Property damage. Take reasonable steps to minimize the damage to your vehicle or other property. You should obtain several repair estimates before making necessary repairs.