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Does Surgery Increase Personal Injury Settlement?

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, the surest way to regain your health and well-being is by obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled. The more serious your injuries, the higher your compensation is likely to be, and if you require surgery, it tends to be a sign that your settlement will be larger. Of course, surgery is hard on you, tends to require a prolonged recovery period, and is not likely to be something you would endure unless you had to for the sake of your health. In other words, while surgery is likely to increase your personal injury settlement, it’s also a sign that your injuries are more serious, which goes hand in hand with higher settlements. If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence that is serious enough to require surgery, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer in your corner.

What’s In This Guide

Your Personal Injury Settlement

Your Personal Injury Settlement

Your personal injury settlement will be based directly on the losses – or legal damages – you’ve suffered, and these fall into three basic categories.

Your Medical Expenses

One of the primary categories of loss associated with personal injury claims are medical costs, and the more serious your injuries, the more likely that surgery will be necessary. Surgery is also closely associated with secondary health concerns and with ongoing medical costs, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, and more. Other common medical costs include:

  • Hospital stays
  • Follow-up care
  • Treatment and care from doctors, surgeons, and other specialists
  • Medical procedures, tests, and treatments
  • Adaptive physical devices
  • Home health care
  • Pain management
  • Prescription medications

There is no denying that the answer to – Does surgery increase personal injury settlement? – is that yes, it does (if you receive just compensation that addresses your full range of losses in their entirety).

[Related Article] Do I Have a Case if I Only Have Minor Injuries in Austin, TX?

Lost Income

Another common category of damages in personal injury claims is a decrease in income due to time lost on the job. If the medical treatment you require includes surgery, you can count on being off the job for a decent amount of time – and it can extend to a considerable amount of time (depending upon the kind of surgery involved). This is another instance in which the more severe your injuries, the greater the loss that you’re likely to experience, and surgery decidedly moves the needle toward more serious (rather than less serious).

Your Physical and Psychological Pain and Suffering

There is no way around it – if you are injured, it’s a painful experience. If, however, you are injured by someone else’s negligence, it can amplify the psychological pain and suffering you’re forced to endure. Further, the more violent and serious the accident, the more serious your pain and suffering is likely to be, and if your injuries require surgery, it’s a good sign that your pain and suffering is considerable.

All told, surgery shines a light on just how serious your losses really are, but it’s also a serious hurdle that you’ll be required to overcome if you want to recover fully.

Back Surgeries

Some of the surgeries that are most closely associated with personal injury claims are back surgeries, which are often precipitated by traffic accidents of every kind and slip and fall accidents. Back injuries are often caused by a blow to the neck, back or shoulders that harms the spinal cord.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion surgery eliminates the motion between two or more of the vertebrae in your spine by fusing them permanently together. This surgery is designed to imitate the process by which broken bones naturally heal and involves keeping everything in place with screws or bone grafts. The recovery period for spinal fusion surgeries is necessarily lengthy as the patient must spend a significant amount of time resting while the grafts are allowed to fuse appropriately. Spinal grafts sometimes lead to significant decreases in overall spinal flexibility, but most patients ultimately enjoy long-term improvements.


A discectomy is a surgery that is designed to remove a herniated disc that causes painful pressure on the nerve root of the patient’s spinal cord. Depending upon the severity of the underlying injury, patients can generally recover from discectomies in as little as a month, but when the underlying injury is more serious, it can take as long as three months for patients to achieve optimal recovery and return to work.

Spinal Laminectomy

Spinal laminectomy is a surgery that is intended to help alleviate the pain caused by spinal stenosis, which refers to a narrowing of the spaces within one’s spine and that can be caused by spinal injuries. The surgery involves removing bone spurs and the walls of specific vertebrae, which helps to remove any excess pressure on the nerves that the patient experiences as pain. Recovery generally takes up to about six weeks.

Protecting Your Health and Your Personal Injury Claim

Protecting Your Health and Your Personal Injury Claim

If the injuries you suffer require surgery, it’s imperative that you take the matter seriously. The best way to protect your health and bolster your recovery is by carefully following your medical team’s instructions and advice. Your health is far too important to leave to chance, and your careful adherence to the medical instructions provided to you also sends a strong message to the insurance company handling your claim – a message that says your injuries are exactly as serious as described in your personal injury claim.

[Related Article] What is a Lien and How Can it Affect my Austin Personal Injury Settlement?

The Insurance Company

The insurance company that is handling your claim is motivated by profits – it’s as simple as that – and it will keep your settlement as low as it can. If the injuries you’ve suffered require surgery, it means considerable expense, lost time, and pain and suffering on your part, but it also makes it more difficult for the insurance company to successfully call the severity of your injuries into doubt.

Turn to an Experienced Austin Personal Injury Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need

The savvy Austin personal injury attorneys at The Patel Firm recognize the gravity of your situation and are committed to skillfully advocating for your claim’s beneficial conclusion. For more information about how we can help, please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 today.

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