How to Mitigate Your Car Accident Damages


man sitting down after wreck

Following motor-vehicle collisions, New York motorists are expected to seek compensation from their own insurance carriers. This is true even if they didn’t actually contribute to the wreck—unless they meet the “serious injury threshold.”


Generally speaking, you can bypass the “no fault” system and seek compensation from the liable party if you incurred more than $50,000 in medical bills and lost wages combined. The state also considers an injury “serious” if it results in dismemberment, significant disfigurement, the loss of a fetus, one or more fractures, or the limitation or loss of use of an organ, function, or system.


If you meet the requirements for filing a third-party claim, it’s important to remember that you’re not guaranteed a payout. First, you must put together a strong case that’s backed by compelling evidence.


Along the way, you must also take reasonable measures to lessen the losses that are within your control. Otherwise, the opposing party may argue that you failed to mitigate damages. Such a dispute will only make it that much more challenging to secure the funds that you deserve.


Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways car accident claimants are expected to mitigate damages:


1. Seek Prompt Medical Care


Not all impact injuries manifest symptoms immediately, so even if you feel relatively fine in the aftermath, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are. As tempting as it might be to postpone going to the doctor, it’s imperative that you seek care right away. If you were to suffer complications for failing to start treatment in a timely manner, the opposing party could certainly shift at least some blame onto you.


2. Follow All Medical Advice


Once you do start treatment, make sure to prioritize your recovery. Follow your doctor’s orders diligently and attend all subsequent appointments. Deviating from the proposed treatment plan even a little could hinder your recovery, thereby giving the opposing party another opportunity to dispute liability.


3. Be as Self-Sufficient as Your Doctor Allows


The cost of reasonable and necessary replacement services—e.g., help with meal preparation, child care, and housekeeping—is recoverable. The key word, however, is “necessary.”


If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to resume a certain task, outsourcing it could constitute a failure to mitigate damages. Consequently, the insurance adjuster won’t account for the associated expense during the settlement negotiations. Depending on the circumstances, they may also be inclined to challenge your credibility in general, which could threaten the foundation of your claim.


Call 855-585-2969 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Car Accident Lawyer


Are you thinking about filing a personal injury claim in the wake of a wreck? For strategic legal guidance at every stage of the proceedings, you can count on Leitner Varughese. Our compassionate team will use all the resources at our disposal to seek the compensation you need to put your life back together.


We’re proud to counsel clients in New York City, Long Island, and throughout the rest of the state. Call 855-585-2969 or submit the Contact Form on our website to schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident attorneyin New York.

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