Surgery is often a necessary step for victims injured by another person’s negligence. This is especially true following a car crash or other serious accident. However, when victims need surgical treatment, it is also expensive. Since these costs get passed on to the liable party, it can add significant value to the outcome of a victim’s injury claim.
Despite the possibility of increasing your claim’s overall value, is surgery always beneficial or even necessary? Are there times when this treatment could actually decrease the amount of compensation in an injury claim?
Anderson & Cummings sheds some light on surgery in injury claims, including when it may benefit you and when this treatment could have a negative impact on your claim.
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How Does Surgery Impact the Value of an Injury Claim
Victims injured in an accident may often need some type of surgery to help them recover from their injuries.
No matter how you slice it, surgical treatments are expensive, which means the victim could end up with a pretty hefty medical bill. However, if the accident and resulting damages are caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim should not be the one to foot the bill.
Fortunately, all reasonable and necessary expenses associated with surgery can be added to the overall value of your injury claim, including:
- Surgeon, nursing staff and anesthesiology costs
- Medical or hospital facility charges
- Equipment (such as for diagnostic purposes)
- Hospital stays for inpatient surgeries
- Medication to help with pain management, infection, etc.
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy needed after the surgery
- Follow-up medical appointments
- And more
In addition to these economic damages, you may also be able to claim non-economic damages for your pain and suffering. For instance, injury victims may also suffer from depression, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and much more.
Does Surgery Always Add Value to an Injury Claim?
This is where many people get confused about how an injury claim works. Surgery that is needed to help an accident victim recover could add value to an injury claim. If the surgery is considered to be medically unreasonable or unnecessary, however, it could hurt your claim’s value.
Good or bad, there are a few things that can affect the value of surgery in an injury claim.
State of Health and Genetics
The genetics and overall state of health of an accident victim can play a significant role in their ability to recover. Victims who were younger or in good health before an accident may heal more quickly after surgery than older victims with existing medical conditions. There are even those who may need no further treatment or rehabilitation at all. While this is good news for a victim’s state of health, it also means that the surgery is unlikely to add much value to a claim.
Less Invasive Treatments May Be Recommended
A doctor is likely to recommend less invasive and less costly treatments first. Victims who jump right to surgery without even trying other treatments recommended by their doctor may not get compensated for the surgery. The insurance company may try to discredit you and say you are getting the surgery for the sole purpose of inflating your claim.
The Surgery May Not Be Needed or Beneficial
In some cases, victims may be pushing for surgery even when it may not be needed. Taking this route could be especially damaging to an injury claim. The insurance company may use an unnecessary surgery as an opportunity to discredit a victim’s credibility.
When victims lose credibility, it can severely damage an injury claim. Instead of increasing the value of your claim, it could instead significantly reduce it or cause it to be completely denied.
Avoid Surgery When Possible
Surgery always comes with health risks. Whether it is an unexpected infection, a medical mistake or even a reaction to the anesthesia, you could be putting your health unnecessarily at risk.
Therefore it is important to never push for surgery that you do not need. In an injury claim, this could cause irreparable harm to your claim. If you have concerns that you are not getting optimum care from your treating physician, a better option is to seek a second opinion. Sometimes this can help to put an injured victim’s mind at ease.
When is Surgery Likely to Increase the Value of My Claim?
Surgery that is recommended by your treating physician as a necessary part of your recovery will likely help to increase the value of your claim.
For instance, accident victims may need surgery for the following injuries:
- Compound arm or leg fractures
- Surgery for facial fractures or lacerations
- Knee replacement surgery
- Spinal cord injuries
- Retinal detachment
- Internal organ damages
- And more
It is important to remember also that surgery is not the only thing that may add value to your injury claim. For instance, a severe soft-tissue injury may not require surgery, but it could mean long-term physical therapy and pain management. Some victims may suffer a permanent condition that requires continued medical treatment. Other victims may have to change careers that pay a significantly lower salary.
Ready to Seek Legal Help? We Are Ready to Help
Anderson & Cummings, located in Fort Worth Texas, has been helping injury victims for decades. We have a history of proven results, which simply means, we have recovered a lot of money for our clients – hundreds of millions in compensation.
Victims who have legal representation often recover significantly more compensation than those who do not. This is likely because seeking compensation from at-fault parties is what we do every day. We know how to deal with insurance companies and how to negotiate for the maximum possible compensation. When a settlement cannot be reached with the other side, we are also ready to represent you in court.
Call today for your free case review and to learn more about what we do. We are here to help.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results (817) 920-9000.