An at-fault party will always be responsible for a long list of damages the victim faces following a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, slip and fall or trip and fall accident, or dog bite or animal attack. This list encompasses economic and non-economic damages including past medical bills, future medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Invariably, economic damages are easier to quantify, and thus easier to determine with better certainty than non-economic damages because economic damages will always be evidenced by some specific thing (e.g., a hospital bill, prior pay stub, etc.). Keep in mind, just because some damages are easy to determine, when compared to other damages, does not mean they will automatically be awarded to the injured victim. All damages must be reasonable in light of the injuries sustained and the treatment provided/recommended. This, in a nutshell, means that that which is being requested as a means of compensation must directly relate to the injuries the victim suffered and not come from the result of some unreasonable act (or failure to act) on the part of the victim when tending to her medical needs. In other words, the victim must act reasonably when it comes to obtaining medical treatment for her injuries and mitigating the extent of damages she has suffered/will suffer from the injury accident (see Mitigation After an Accident: Cases to Consider). A personal injury victim may not ignore her doctor’s advice, allow her injuries to get worse, and then expect the at-fault party to cover the treatment of her initial injuries and subsequent worse condition because she failed to undergo necessary medical treatment. Notice, the failure on the part of the victim to follow her doctor’s advice must be unreasonable for her to be unable to recover the additional value. If her refusal to undergo a life-threatening surgery was reasonable, and because of not undergoing that surgery she will have a life of enduring a particular kind of therapy or need for a caretaker, the at-fault party will be responsible for that therapy or caretaker (or both) because no one is expected or required to go through a course of treatment which is unreasonable. If some sort of pre-existing condition on the part of the accident victim increases the risk of death or complication from surgery, the victim is not expected to undergo, and the at-fault party must take the victim as he finds him/her (see Pre-Existing Injuries: Jury Instructions and Case Law, Pre-Existing Injuries in a Personal Injury Claim and Thin-Skulled Personal Injury Victim: Legally Defined). Contact our California accident lawyer if you have been injured in an accident and need assistance.
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