If you are involved in a car accident settlement, many variables influence compensation, including:
- Injuries sustained
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
All of these factors come into play when the amount of the personal injury settlement is being calculated.
Every case of personal injury differs, and the settlement amount awarded will vary according to the circumstances of the accident. In some personal injury cases, for instance, victims suffer severe and life-altering injuries, sometimes requiring surgery to help them get back on track.
You should receive compensation for all injuries you suffer in any accident, but you should always be honest about the extent of these injuries.
Some people have elected to receive unnecessary surgery in the misguided hope of bolstering the settlement claim. You should never consider this, even if you are trying your best to improve your claim. If surgery is not necessary, do not undergo a surgical procedure.
Do Accident Injury Settlements Cover the Costs of Surgery?
The most expensive medical procedures typically involve surgeries, and you should not be forced to pay to fix an injury caused by an accident.
In a personal injury settlement, your settlement amount is intended to compensate you for the losses and injuries you incurred, including:
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
The costs of surgery should be accounted for within any settlement as it qualifies on all three of the above counts. Surgeries can lead to more time off work, increased pain and suffering, and can also lead to higher medical expenses.
What is a Residual Injury?
A residual injury is a permanent or lasting effect stemming from an injury you sustain in an accident.
Common examples of residual injuries include:
- Back pain
- Joint stiffness
If you can prove you are suffering from residual pain resulting from an accident-related injury, you could find the amount of your damage award increases substantially.
The primary reason that residual injuries so dramatically impact the value of settlement awards is due to the long-lasting suffering induced by disfigurement or disability.
Beyond this, the more serious the injury, the more areas of your life will be impacted, both at home and at work.
Will My Settlement Amount Increase if I Have Surgery?
The cost of surgery is typically high, accounting for the use of hospital facilities, the cost of medical equipment, nursing care, and anesthesiologists.
All injuries are different, but those resulting from motor vehicle accidents most often require surgery. This can include:
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal organ injuries
The purpose of all injury claims is to help you recover compensation for all quantifiable damages stemming from the accident, including:
- Lost wages when injuries prevent you from working
- Surgical costs associated with accident injuries
- X-rays, MRIs, and other diagnostic testing
- Post-traumatic stress
- Other non-economic damages
- Prescribed medications for pain relief and managing infection
- Childcare costs
- Attendant care costs
Surgery is not the only form of care that can add value to your personal injury claim.
Protecting the value of your claim hinges on being open and transparent about the extent of your injuries. You should also keep all medical appointments, and you should closely follow the plan of care laid out by your doctor.
To reiterate, under no circumstances angle for unnecessary surgery. While you should recoup the costs associated with any injury-related surgeries, there is no guarantee of this. It is a reckless strategy to employ to attempt to get more compensation.
While surgery will usually increase the value of any personal injury settlement, there are some situations in which surgery could reduce the amount of money you receive from your claim. Expenses from a surgery must be repaid. If your surgery is obviously not necessary or if there is limited coverage available, you may not be able to recoup enough from a settlement to cover the cost of the surgical procedure.
When you are involved in any personal injury, you should ensure you retain an experienced attorney to help you protect your best interests.
Your lawyer will advise you on the impact of any surgery on your settlement award, and they will strengthen the chance of a successful claim. Most injured victims represented by attorneys end up with substantially more compensation than those with no representation.
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