Surgery is not the only way to treat some injuries. However, sometimes it is a viable and even necessary option. In some cases, surgery after an accident may save the victim’s life or reduce the chances of a life-changing injury.
Surgery can be very expensive – the cost is likely to go up the more invasive the procedure is. An invasive procedure may require the patient to stay at the hospital for one night or more. There are also many people involved in an invasive procedure and a variety of equipment and medical supplies that must be used. These things cost money, and often a lot of money.
That said, injury victims who need surgery should not assume their claim will automatically be worth a lot more money than a claim involving a victim who did not need surgery.
Below, our experienced attorneys discuss how surgery may impact the value of a personal injury claim. If you have questions about your claim or the value of your damages, give us a call today. We are ready to help you seek compensation and the initial consultation is free of charge.
Surgery’s Impact on a Claim’s Value
While every injury claim is different, there are some general rules that apply to most claims. For example, the more medical expenses you have, the more your claim is likely to be worth. Significant medical expenses typically indicate a severe injury that requires a lot of treatment. A severe injury is also likely to result in more non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
While surgery is a significant medical expense, claims involving victims who had surgery are not automatically worth more money than claims involving victims who did not get surgery.
One reason is surgery may have fixed the problem or gone a long way to fixing the problem and limiting the long-term impact of an injury. While the victim may need some ongoing treatment, it may not be as much as other injury victims who had surgery but still suffer significant long-term consequences.
There are some injuries, such as soft-tissue injuries, where surgery may not be possible or may not be recommended by doctors. Victims may need ongoing treatment for chronic pain and over time this could add up to more money than the cost of a surgical procedure. Despite what the insurance company may tell you, soft-tissue injury claims can be worth a significant amount of money, even if you did not get surgery.
The insurance company may try to lowball you on compensation for physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses. That is because they generally believe physical therapists tend to provide endless treatment, even if the victim may not need it.
If you want to recover compensation for physical therapy treatment, make sure it was recommended by the doctor. You should also make sure the therapist you choose is committed to stopping treatment when there is little need for it.
You may also want to continually ask the physical therapist about how much you are benefiting from treatment. If treatment starts to make little to no difference, you may want to talk to the doctor about stopping.
Deciding Whether to Get Surgery
You should make the decision about getting surgery based on discussions with your doctor and after weighing the pros and cons. You should not allow the value of your claim to influence your decision one way or the other.
Insurance companies are already looking for reasons to devalue claims. If you get unnecessary surgery, you will likely have a tough time recovering compensation for these costs. The insurance company may even try to deny your claim, citing a lack of credibility because you got unnecessary surgery.
Injuries That May Need Surgery
There are various injuries that may be treated with surgery, in addition to other medical interventions. For example, doctors may need to do surgery to deal with swelling caused by a brain injury. A spinal cord injury may require surgery to stabilize the spine and prevent further damage.
Other injuries that may need surgery include:
- Damage to internal organs
- Broken bones, such as in the arms and legs
- Ligament damage
Sometimes an injury may require multiple surgeries. Victims may also need to go under the knife to deal with complications from a surgical procedure, such as an infection.
Were You Injured by Another’s Negligence? Call Schmidt Kramer
If you were injured by another’s negligence, you may have a valid claim for compensation. However, recovering full compensation for your damages can be quite a challenge without a licensed Harrisburg personal injury attorney at your side.
If you need a lawyer after an accident, give Schmidt Kramer a call. For more than 30 years we have been securing compensation for accident victims at no upfront cost to our clients.
Schedule your free consultation today. Call (717) 510-1782.