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Damages - Rules Regarding Avoidable Consequences And Collateral Sources

plaintiff defendant duty employment

The plaintiff generally has a duty to minimize special damages, i.e., she cannot recover for damages that could have been avoided by reasonable acts or expenditures. For example, a plaintiff who has been wrongfully discharged from employment by the defendant employer has a duty to seek similar employment after the discharge, rather than to sit idly by and allow damages to accumulate. The plaintiff may have a duty to accept similar employment, thereby mitigating her damages. Likewise, a person who suffers personal injury generally has a duty to seek reasonable medical care.

The collateral source rule means that a defendant shall not be enriched because the plaintiff has received benefits from a source other than the defendant as compensation for injury or breach. For example, a plaintiff injured because of defendant's negligence is entitled to recover from the defendant the full cost of medical services, even if the bills were paid by the plaintiff's relatives or provided free of charge.

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