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Why Do Plaintiffs Mitigate Damages?

When suing for damages, avoidable consequences or most often called mitigating damages are expected from a plaintiff to prevent further injuries or more damages from occurring due to the incident. If a reasonable action is available to prevent a more serious injury than the one being complained, then it should be done by the plaintiff otherwise, the defendant will not be held liable for the succeeding damages.

In the United States, plaintiffs are obliged to mitigate damages. This is to motivate the plaintiff to take extra precautions to not cause any further damage. Failure to mitigate damages may result to reduction of the plaintiff’s recovery. Avoidable consequences apply in different cases. For example, if a person has been injured due to another person’s negligence, he could sue for damages. He is then obliged to go to the hospital and get the medical help he needs to recover from the incident. If he fails to get medical attention and sustained more complicated damages or worsen the injuries obtained, the defendant will not be held liable for the succeeding injuries. Also the plaintiff’s chance of being awarded for the damages may be reduced. Another simple example is when a landlord made a contract with a tenant for a certain period of time, and the contract was breached by the tenant, the landlord then is required to find another tenant to replace the defendant. Failure to do so may reduce the landlord’s chance of getting the full amount of income lost for the breach of contract.

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