Mitigation Law and Legal Definition

Mitigation refers to the lessening of something. In tort law, there is a requirement that someone injured by another's negligence or breach of contract must take reasonable steps to reduce the damages, injury or cost, and to prevent them from getting worse.

For example, a person claiming to have been injured by someone else should seek proper medical care and not let the problem worsen. If a tenant moves out before a lease has expired, a landlord must make reasonable attempts to re-let the property and take in some rents to mitigate his/her loss, rather than let the lease expire and increase lost rent claimed as thr landlord's damages.

For example, when an employee files a claim for wrongful discharge, he/she may seek to recover damages for lost wages. However, if he/she fails to seek other employment, the court may limit the amount of damages for lost wages to those that the court deems to be a reasonable period of unemployment, under the reasoning that the employee failed to mitigate damages by obtaining other employment. In a further example, when a person is injured in an auto accident he/she may seek damages for injuries. However, if he/she fails to get medical attention and an infection develops, the court may exclude recovery for medical bills, lost wages, and suffering related to the infection.