Will My Personal Injury Settlement Be Higher if I Need Surgery? | Staver
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Will My Personal Injury Settlement Be Higher if I Need Surgery?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Large Settlements, Personal Injury

After a personal injury accident, your first concern should be getting better. Depending on how severe your accident was, you may have to consider expensive treatments like surgery or therapy, methods that you might not be able to afford on your own. Surgery may even increase your settlement.

You shouldn’t let financial decisions affect your health, especially if someone else’s negligence caused your injury. Learn more on how surgery can affect a personal injury settlement.

Is Surgery Necessary After Every Accident?

Although not every accident will require surgery to aid your recovery, it’s best left to your doctor to recommend when you should get surgery. A medical professional has the training to assess your injuries and determine how you will best benefit.

Extreme accidents can cause significant injuries. You might be able to recover over time, but surgery could prevent some lifelong impacts that could impair your way of life. Surgery might be painful in the short term, but it can save you from excessive pain and suffering in the long run.

Examples of Surgeries After Injury Accidents

Unlike elective surgeries, which may remove an inconvenience or change your looks, necessary surgeries are essential to allow your body to heal properly and mitigate the damage you receive in an accident.

Some examples include:

  • Stabilizing broken bones
  • Stopping internal bleeding
  • Repairing soft tissue
  • Stabilizing your brain
  • Fixing your back

A medical professional will evaluate your injuries and inform you if you should have surgery. They may include warnings that surgery won’t bring you back to your pre-accident health, but it may be the only treatment that keeps you from a life filled with pain.

Are Surgery Costs Covered in Illinois Personal Injury Cases?

Under Illinois law, it’s possible to recover compensation for your injuries if someone else was responsible for your damages. That can include economic and non-economic damages. Economic losses are the out-of-pocket expenses you pay because of your accident. This can include repairing your car, any damaged property, or your medical bills.

There are many expenses related to your medical needs. If you need surgery because of your accident, it should qualify as economic damage the at-fault party should have to cover. You’ll need to prove that the surgery was necessary and not something you lied about because you wanted more money in a settlement.

Testimony from a medical expert, like your doctor or a surgeon, can help prove you needed surgery after your accident.

What Kind of Expenses Are Included in Surgery?

Many victims hesitate to get surgery after an accident because of several factors. The cost of a medical procedure is one of the biggest hang-ups accident victims face when considering treatment.

However, you should have proof to show there was someone responsible for your accident. If you can show that the liable party was responsible for the injuries, you have a case to recover the compensation for any related operation.

Surgery is expensive. Some operations aren’t as invasive as others, so they may not cost as much. After surgery, you might see items attached to your bill, including:

  • The surgical staff
  • Nursing staff
  • In-patient care and stays
  • Medications
  • Physical Therapy
  • Follow-ups

Each case is unique, but you should work with an Illinois personal injury lawyer to help keep track of your costs if you need surgery after an accident.

Other Personal Injury Settlement Compensation

Besides the economic damages available in a personal injury compensation claim, you can pursue non-economic damages. These losses are conceptual damages you’ve experienced because you were injured in a crash.

You can seek compensation for the pain and suffering you endured because of an injury accident. A surgery could increase that suffering, especially if you needed to go through physical therapy or if you were traumatized by the need to have surgery.

How are PI Settlements Calculated?

While insurance companies can claim that they have a sure-fire tool to calculate a victim’s needs after a crash, there really isn’t a way to get an exact number for your damages. Your best bet is to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer.

These cases are complex. There could be factors that could add more to your settlement, or there might be aspects that actually diminish your claim’s value. However, know that a necessary surgery should increase the settlement you can claim, especially if its outcome makes you suffer.

For instance, if one of your limbs must be amputated after an accident, your way of life will be vastly different. You have a claim to the anguish losing that limb and having to adapt to life without it.

Best done with the help of a personal injury lawyer, explain that pain and suffering plays a major consideration of the non-economic damages, and surgery can exacerbate that.

Other Factors That can Affect a Settlement after Surgery

There are other things that could affect your settlement claim, especially if you need surgery after a personal injury accident.

You’ll need to reach your “maximum medical improvement” before you make a claim. This MMI means you’ve recovered as much as you can after an accident. You shouldn’t submit a claim before you reach an MMI. You might not get an accurate settlement if you do.

You’ll also need to consider how much you “contributed” to your accident. Illinois law states that a personal injury victim may submit a claim if they are less than half at fault for their injuries. Their settlement could be reduced by a proportion of the blame they share. For instance, you can pursue a claim against a drunk driver if they hit you. However, your settlement amount could be reduced if you were texting at the same time.

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you calculate your claim accurately. They are especially helpful if you’ve paid for a surgery that was necessary after someone else’s negligence hurt you. Your attorney will investigate the crash, identify the at-fault parties, and determine how extensively their reckless behavior hurt you. Not only should they calculate your economic damages caused by surgery, but your lawyer should also look at the non-economic damages you suffered as well.

Finding the right Chicago lawyer for your accident is critical if you’re on the hook for medical expenses you owe because of someone else’s negligent behavior.

Call the Staver Team Today

Accidents can happen to anyone. If you’re hurt because someone was dangerously negligent, you need a personal injury lawyer ready to fight for your compensation. The Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., understand how traumatic an accident is. We know that you might reluctantly choose surgery to help you recover. We’ll make sure the at-fault party is held accountable for these costs so you can focus on healing.

Call (312) 236-2900 or use our contact form to get started.

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(312) 236-2900
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