The Wagners - A Serious Injury Law Firm blog shares Personal Injury stories and opinions relevant to Halifax, Nova Scotia residents. Let us know what you think.

Do I have to speak with insurance companies following a car accident?

Victor Lewin
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and deemed not at fault for the collision, a call will inevitably come from both your insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver. Many individuals phone our office wondering if they are obligated to speak to these insurance adjusters. ..

Staying Safe at Night

Victor Lewin
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It’s that time of year again! It is getting darker earlier in the evening. This can lead to visibility issues for both pedestrians and drivers. While dark conditions may be unavoidable, there are a number of precautions you can take to stay safe. ..

Walking and Texting

Victor Lewin
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We all know how difficult it can be to do two things at once – chewing gum and walking is one example that comes to mind!  But that doesn’t seem to stop many of us when it comes to walking and using our smart phones at the same time.  With smart phone technology being so prevalent in our modern society, many of us need to be forced to look up from our screens so that we can focus on the environment around them.  Failure to do so can result in injury, including serious injury and in some cases, death. ..

Renewed calls for widespread use of the Surgical Safety Checklist

Victor Lewin
Friday, November 03, 2017

Surgical Safety Checklist
The Surgical Safety Checklist (SSCL) is a vital tool that was introduced in by the World Health Organization in 2008 and followed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in 2009, that can improve the safety of surgery, thereby reducing patient harm and death. In 2010, the SSCL was recognized by Accreditation Canada as an essential component to patient safety. ..

Do I have to speak with insurance companies following a car accident?

Victor Lewin
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and deemed not at fault for the collision, a call will inevitably come from both your insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver. Many individuals phone our office wondering if they are obligated to speak to these insurance adjusters. ..

How to lower your risk of a highway fatality

Victor Lewin
Friday, October 20, 2017

According to the Canadian government, in 2015 there were 5.6 automobile collision fatalities for every 100,000 people in Nova Scotia. A lot of factors contributed to this number, but every driver should focus on road safety to make sure he or she does not become a statistic. Practicing safe driving can save your life and greatly lower your risk of legal trouble. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of highway driving fatalities:

  • Wear your seat belt. It’s a law of nature that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted on by another force. When your car abruptly brakes or gets into a collision, the passengers in the car will keep moving at 80km/h on some highways, with only a dashboard to stop them. Seatbelts help prevent this by safely restraining you and your passengers.
  • Avoid distractions. Driver distraction is one of the largest leading causes of traffic accidents and using your phone while driving is one of the leading causes of driver distraction. Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the most common causes of accidents in Halifax, with some statistics indicating that it increases your risk of an accident by up to 30%. Finding hands-free ways of using your phone or simply waiting to text when you reach your destination can save your life. In addition, using your phone without a hands free device is against the law in Nova Scotia. Being caught driving with your phone in your hand can result in a fine and possible demerit points attaching to your license.
  • Don’t drive impaired. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and even fatigue can all impair your reaction time and coordination. If something happens on the highway, every split-second matters. Don’t put your convenience ahead of your safety. If you begin taking prescription drugs, follow your pharmacist and treating physicians’ advice on use, and even if there are no driving related warnings, it is always a good idea to wait until you’re sure of their effect on you before getting behind the wheel of a car.
  • Don’t be an aggressive driver. Do you speed up to make a yellow light? Do you use the car horn when you’re angry with another driver? If you do, then you might be an aggressive driver. Not many people consider themselves to be aggressive drivers, but these behaviours can get you into just as much trouble as being an impaired driver. This is even truer at the high speeds required on the highway.

Even the best drivers sometimes run out of luck. If you’re involved in a highway accident, you should consult a lawyer to find out what your options are. Wagners—A Serious Injury Law Firm in Halifax have experience in personal injury law and are committed to working for your best interests. A car accident can cause everything from costly car damage to spinal injury to a loss of wages while you car is being repaired. Contact us today in our Halifax offices so one of our lawyers can help you focus on repairing any damage to your life.

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Duty to mitigate: Another individual may have caused your injuries, however, as a plaintiff, you have responsibilities as well.

Victor Lewin
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Before we delve into the duty to mitigate, can we put things into context?

Before delving into the duty to mitigate, it is useful to start with a brief overview of the litigation process. Thus, if you are an individual who has suffered a loss or injury, due to the negligence or carelessness of someone else, you may be able to make a claim for financial compensation. Provided this is the case, you are generally referred to as the claimant, or plaintiff. Legally, in order to make out your claim in a court of law, your lawyer will be tasked with proving various aspects of your case. However, many claimants are unaware that as they move through the litigation process, or even before it gets started, they have responsibilities as well. One of those responsibilities, which is the focus of this discussion, is the duty to mitigate.

What does the “duty to mitigate” mean?

The duty to mitigate is a legal principle which provides that when a plaintiff makes a claim for personal injuries suffered as the result of someone else’s negligence, the injured individual must do whatever is reasonable to limit or ease their physical and financial losses. In other words, a wronged plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for the losses suffered, however, this principle is subject to the qualification that a defendant is not responsible to pay for losses which could have been avoided if the plaintiff had acted reasonably. For example, an injured plaintiff must take reasonable steps to seek medical treatment. Additionally, once treatment is sought, the plaintiff has a further duty to follow the recommendations of their treatment provider in an attempt to get better. Practically speaking, as a plaintiff, these are the types of behaviours you will want to employ in order to ensure that you live up to your duty.

Ok, so I understand the nature of the duty, and how I should ensure that I live up to it, but why is the duty to mitigate important to me?

As indicated above, a plaintiff who fails to fulfill this duty cannot claim damages which result from their own failure to mitigate. In other words, a plaintiff cannot claim for losses that could reasonably have been avoided. So, failing to follow the advice of a health care professional, such as a doctor or physiotherapist, could mean that down the road a judge may reduce your award for damages for the reason that, had you followed these recommendations, you may have recovered faster or suffered a less severe injury.

In light of the above, it is apparent that the duty to mitigate is a very important aspect of any personal injury case. Although your injuries may have been caused by someone else, you must recognize that, in order to receive full compensation for your injuries, you will have to live up to your end of the bargain.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, and you are unsure what you can claim for, the legal team at Wagners can help you. You can reach us at 902-425-7330 or 1-800-465-8794.

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