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Did you know you have duties in a personal injury lawsuit?

You were minding your own business on your way home from work one day when another driver slammed into your car. Before the crash, you noticed that the driver was on the phone. Now, you are in the middle of a battle trying to get your health back to where it should be and trying to minimize the financial impact the car crash has on your life.

If you opt to seek compensation for the crash, you need to understand two important concepts - subrogation and duty to mitigate. Both of these concepts can have a big impact on your case.

What is subrogation?

Subrogation is a concept that enables an insurance company to come to you for repayment of charges the company paid in connection with a crash if your claim for compensation is successful. This is an important thing to remember because it would affect what you actually walk away with in connection with the lawsuit.

In some cases, you won't be a party to the subrogation issues. If your insurance company paid your medical bills, that company might turn to the insurer of the person who hit you or it might turn directly to the other driver. This won't impact your personal injury settlement at all.

What is duty to mitigate?

Your duty to mitigate means that you are responsible for trying to keep the impacts of the injuries to a minimum. For example, if you have a back injury, you couldn't go out and power lift heavy weights. Instead, you would need to stick to the instructions of your doctor.

Your duty to mitigate doesn't mean that you have to do everything that the doctors recommend. You wouldn't have to undergo an invasive surgery if you weren't willing to do that. You should understand that not listening to the doctors providing your care might end up having a negative impact on your claim for compensation.

When you are trying to determine what you are going to do regarding your care, think about what a reasonable person would do in the same situation. This is the standard that is used to determine if your actions fall in line with your duty to mitigate.

For example, if the risks of a surgery are great and the benefit is minimal, you might not want the surgery. This decision falls in line with what a reasonable person might do because the risks are much greater than the benefits.

You might need help deciding what you should do to meet your responsibilities in these cases. Make sure that you find out how your options might impact your claim in the future.

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Peddicord & Townsend LLC
1517 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64108

Phone: 816-945-9337
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