What is the Duty to Mitigate Damages in a Wisconsin Personal Injury Case?

Under Wisconsin law, you have a right to recover compensation for any losses and injuries that you suffered as the result of an accident caused by the negligence of another. However, you also have a duty to mitigate your damages. This means that you need to take any steps necessary to prevent your losses or damages from increasing. In other words, you should take medications as prescribed by your doctor and follow through with therapy, exercises, or follow-up appointments as needed. If you fail to do so, then the defense could argue that you aren’t entitled to all of the damages you are claiming because you didn’t mitigate your damages.

Mitigation of damages as defined by Wisconsin law requires an injured person to use ordinary care to seek medical and/surgical treatment and to undergo recommended medical and/or surgical treatment within a reasonable period of time in order to avoid or minimize any damages from physical injuries. An injured person also needs to take steps to avoid further aggravating your injuries. If, however, a person does not follow the recommended course of treatment from his or her doctor or seek the appropriate treatment right away, a jury could rule that the person failed to mitigate his or her damages, and thus is entitled only to a lower amount of damages. Keep in mind, however, that the doctrine of mitigation does not require an injured person to undergo treatment that is unreasonably dangerous or not reasonably within his or her means.

If you or a loved one suffers serious or fatal injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the party or parties who are responsible for the accident that led to those injuries. In order to develop your claim for damages, we must determine which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted in a negligent or reckless manner, or otherwise acted in a manner that caused death or injury to your loved one. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison accident lawyers can help you with this inquiry and carefully guide you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have against various responsible parties.