Mitigation Of Damages Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Mitigation Of Damages, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Mitigation Of Damages?

(n) Mitigation of Damages is the responsibility of the sufferer of a crime, misdoing or accident to take steps to stop or reduce further or consequential loss which may occur to them as a result of the crime, accident or wrongdoing to which he was subjected. Eg. In an accident, one is expected to secure the salvaged goods saving them from further loss by lying at the accident spot.

History and Meaning of Mitigation Of Damages

Mitigation of damages is a common law principle that places a responsibility on the victim of an incident to take reasonable steps to reduce the harm caused by the incident. This principle developed in response to a problem faced by courts, where the victim of an incident would neglect to take reasonable steps to minimize their losses, leaving the defendant facing a larger claim for damages than they would have if the victim had taken steps to mitigate their losses.

Examples of Mitigation Of Damages

  1. In a contract dispute, if one party breaches the terms of the agreement, the other party is obligated to take reasonable steps to minimize their losses. For example, if a supplier breaches a contract to deliver goods to a buyer, the buyer should attempt to find replacement goods at a reasonable cost rather than wait for the supplier to fulfill the contract.
  2. After a car accident, the driver who was not at fault has a duty to mitigate their damages by seeking medical attention and following the recommended treatment to minimize their injuries and reduce their medical expenses.
  3. When an employee is wrongfully terminated, they have a duty to mitigate their damages by seeking new employment and mitigating their lost wages.

Legal Terms Similar to Mitigation Of Damages

  1. Contributory Negligence: A legal principle that limits a plaintiff's ability to recover damages if their own negligence contributed to their injury.
  2. Comparative Negligence: A legal principle that reduces a plaintiff's damages award in proportion to their degree of fault in causing an accident or injury.
  3. Proximate Cause: A legal principle that limits liability to harms that are the direct result of the defendant's actions or inactions, and that were reasonably foreseeable at the time of the incident.