Avoidable Consequences Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Avoidable consequences doctrine is a legal principle that places the responsibility of minimizing damages upon the person who has been injured. The plaintiff after an injury or breach of contract should make reasonable efforts to mitigate the effects of the injury or breach. If the defendant can show that the plaintiff failed to mitigate damages, the plaintiff's recovery can be barred or reduced. The major function of the doctrine is to reduce the damages brought about by the defendant's misconduct.

The plaintiff need only make reasonable efforts to avoid the consequences of the misconduct. Whether the plaintiff took reasonable efforts to alleviate the effects of the injury or breach depends on the circumstances of the particular case, and is subject to the rules of common sense and fair dealing. A party injured by the breach of contract generally must exercise reasonable efforts to lessen the damages. Likewise, a party who suffers a personal injury should exercise ordinary care and perseverance to find a cure, and reduce the damages to the most practicable extent.