After getting hurt because of another person’s negligence, you may wonder whether having surgery will increase the value of your injury claim. However, the answer to that question varies from case to case and is very dependent on how badly you were hurt. Each injury claim is unique, and not every injury will require surgery. Before taking this drastic step, however, you should discuss all care options and potential outcomes with your treating physician.
At Goldberg Finnegan, our Silver Spring personal injury lawyers are here to answer your legal questions and determine if you have a valid claim. We have been representing clients for decades and have extensive knowledge of Maryland laws. Our firm also has a strong recovery record, including $1.8 million recovered for the injured victim in a truck accident case.
Could Having Surgery Increase What My Claim is Worth?
If you or a loved one have ever received medical care in a hospital, you probably know that medical care comes at a high price, especially if you need surgery. In addition to the surgeons, there are costs for the medical equipment, use of the hospital facilities, anesthesiologists, nursing care and more.
The whole purpose of any injury claim is to seek compensation to help you recover quantifiable damages caused by the accident, such as:
- Surgical costs related to your accident injuries
- Diagnostic testing, including X-rays or MRIs
- Prescribed medication to reduce pain and prevent infection
- Lost wages if your injuries keep you from working
- Costs of child or attendant care while you recover
- Post-traumatic stress and other non-economic damages
Surgery is not the only type of care that adds value to an injury claim. To protect the value of your claim, it is important to be completely honest about your injuries, keep your medical appointments, and follow your doctor’s plan of care. Sometimes, it may even be a good idea to get a second opinion. However, we do not ever recommend getting surgery that you do not need just for the sake of trying to add value to your injury claim.
What Injuries May Need Surgery?
Your physician will tell you, based on an examination and diagnosis of your condition, if you need surgery to help you recover.
Surgery is always a big deal. In addition to long recovery times, there are also serious risks. Patients could develop an infection after the surgery or have an unexpected reaction to the anesthesia. These are just a couple of reasons that you should never push for surgery that you do not need.
There are, however, some common accident injuries that may often necessitate the need for surgery, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries: Even if a victim faces permanent paralysis, surgery may still improve his or her long-term outcome. For example, removing bone fragments can help to reduce compression and minimize spinal cord damage.
- Internal organ damage: It is common to sustain damage to internal organs in car crashes and other serious accidents. Surgery may often be required to repair damage to a ruptured spleen, punctured lung or other internal organ.
- Fractures: Any accident could result in serious bone fractures. Surgery may be necessary to immobilize or strengthen a fractured bone. Sometimes metal plates, rods or pins may be surgically placed to help hold the bone together. If a bone was splintered, there may also be fragments that need to be cleaned and/or removed out of the wound.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): After suffering a TBI, an injured victim could experience fluid retention, hemorrhaging, swelling or other health problems. Without surgery, the injured victim’s intracranial pressure may increase to a dangerous or deadly level.
- Soft-tissue injuries: While many people may minimize soft-tissue injuries, they are often quite severe. In many cases, surgery may be needed to repair tears or other damage to the area.
Could Having Surgery Reduce the Value of Your Claim?
It may seem odd that surgery could reduce the value of a claim. However, here are some examples where it could happen:
- The cost of the surgery exceeds the limits of the available insurance coverage, leaving the rest for you to pay
- Surgery is needed, but you fully recover quickly, so there is little or no pain and suffering afterward
- The surgery was not deemed necessary by your treating physician, and the insurance company refused to pay for it
Having an attorney on your side to guide you throughout the legal process and protect your best interests gives your claim a better chance at succeeding. Often, injured victims who are represented by an attorney end up with significantly more compensation than those who are not.
Contact Our Trusted Law Firm for Legal Help Today
At Goldberg Finnegan, we are ready to help. Call our law offices today to schedule your free initial consultation. There is no obligation to hire our firm after this meeting, but if we represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay. You also do not pay us any fees while we handle your case or until it concludes. We only get paid if you do.