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Does Surgery Increase the Value of Your Car Accident Case?


Many car accidents result in severe injuries that do not respond to treatment. In such cases, surgical intervention may be required. If your doctor has recommended surgery, you might be wondering whether you should proceed, and if it will increase the value of your personal injury case. Notably, there are many variables that can determine the amount of a settlement or verdict — and receiving necessary surgical care is one of them.

Common Surgeries After a Car Accident

Surgery is a major event in someone’s life. There are numerous risks involved, and the recovery time can be lengthy. While surgery is typically a last resort and should only be considered if alternative treatment plans have failed, some car accident injuries may require surgery more often than others. The type of surgery you might need after a car accident can depend upon the location of the injury and how severe it is.

Common types of surgeries car accident victims undergo can include the following:

  • Knee surgery — It’s not uncommon for a driver or passenger to hit their knee on the dashboard during the impact of a car accident. If an injury occurs to the knee, surgery may be needed if physical therapy is unsuccessful.
  • Spinal fusion — In this type of surgery, two or more vertebrae are fused together for stability and pain management purposes.
  • Vertebroplasty — This is a procedure in which a cement mixture is injected into a fractured vertebra to restore mobility and relieve pain.
  • Laminotomy — A laminotomy removes part of the lamina to relieve pressure in the vertebral canal.
  • Plastic surgery — A car accident can result in lacerations and disfigurement that require reconstructive or plastic surgery.
  • Dental surgery — If your face strikes the dashboard, steering wheel, or any other part of the vehicle during the collision, you might require dental surgery to repair broken and damaged teeth.
  • Brain surgery — Brain and head injuries are common in car accidents and must be treated immediately. Emergency surgery might be necessary in the event there is a clot or bleeding in the brain.
  • Discectomy — This is a procedure to remove the damaged portion of a herniated or abnormal disc in your spine.

It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of surgery with your doctor and discuss any alternative options. After a car accident, your primary focus should be on your physical recovery, and it’s essential to follow your doctor’s recommended course of treatment — not only for your health, but also to help build a strong personal injury case.

How Does Surgery Increase Your Settlement or Verdict?

The cost of surgery can be substantial, depending on the specific procedure. Not only is an injury victim billed for the surgeon’s work, but also for the anesthesiologist, staff involved, and the supplies used. You might also require post-operative care, hospitalization, and medication to control the pain. Following surgery, other expenses that you might incur include costs for replacement services, such as child care or home assistance, and lost wages while you take time from work to recover. These financial losses can drive up the economic damages portion of an injury claim.

Even with surgery, some injuries are long-term or permanent and can impact your daily life and ability to work. If you require ongoing care and future medical treatment, these factors can increase the value of your claim. In addition, you can also receive monetary recovery for the physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced due to your accident-related injuries. Also referred to as non-economic damages, this portion of a personal injury claim is often significant and can result in a greater amount of compensation awarded.

However, it is important to understand that an unnecessary surgery will not increase the value of your accident case. If after reviewing your medical records, an insurance company deems that your surgery was not necessary, it may deny compensation for the procedure. In such cases, it’s often helpful to have the testimony of an expert witness who can explain why the surgical intervention was needed.  

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident and require surgery, it’s essential to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side who can fight for your right to the maximum compensation you deserve. The personal injury attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have more than three decades of experience helping NYC car accident victims recover their rightful compensation.  

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.