Were you in a car accident that resulted in very little property damage, but also resulted in you needing surgery due to an injury? Car accident injuries and property damage do not always correlate. Sometimes, a car is smashed to pieces and the occupants are virtually unharmed. Other times a car has only a bent bumper, but the driver suffered a herniated disc from whiplash.
You should know that you can seek damages for personal injuries resulting from a car accident regardless of the degree of damage to your vehicle.
A lack of property damage should not affect your ability to file a claim for damages due to injuries. However, if you have a pre-existing injury, your insurance company may deny your claim if it cannot be proven that the car accident aggravated or accelerated the pre-existing condition.
To ensure your injury and potential need for surgery are handled appropriately, work with an experienced Georgia car accident attorney at Scholle Law. Our team will make sure your car accident injuries are taken seriously despite the lack of damage to your vehicle.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The first thing you should do once you leave the scene of a car accident is to seek medical attention. Remember, that adrenaline and shock can mask pain and injuries. It is our body’s way of ensuring that we keep going, despite injuries, in a life or death situation. Once your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, some people do not even realize that they have severe head trauma or broken bones until after they regain their composure and their bodies return to a calm state after an accident.
A medical professional can advise the next steps for your medical care and let you know of any treatment or surgery you may need due to the car accident. Even minor car accidents can cause issues like slipped discs, torn ligaments, and internal bleeding that require major surgery.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to get a surgical procedure because you’re worried about whether or not it will be covered in a car accident claim, our attorneys advise that you follow the doctor’s orders. By not complying with the doctor’s recommendations, you’re telling the insurance companies that it wasn’t that bad or that you don’t deserve to be compensated for those injuries.
For example a doctor finds a full thickness tear in the shoulder after you were T-boned with relatively low damage to both vehicles. The fact there is little damage to the vehicle doesn’t negate the fact your arm was twisted so forcefully that it will need surgery to repair it. The damage was still done and will still need to be repaired.
Can I File an Injury Claim if There was Little Property Damage?
Property damage doesn’t correlate to the severity of an individual’s injury in a car accident. Many times, there is damage to vital parts of the body that if twisted or jostled too hard, may cause extreme pain and other damage. For example, a person who was rear-ended and only thought to have whiplash on the scene may later learn they need spinal fusion surgery after all non-surgical treatment has been exhausted.
Insurance adjusters are trained to ask, “Does the mechanism for injuries make sense?” This is a good question. It’s the same question that will be put before a jury during trial. Insurance adjusters want to make sure your injuries are from the car accident and not something else. For example, if your car was impacted on the left side, but your right shoulder was hurt, the insurance adjuster may question how exactly that happened.
In short, pre-existing injuries that are claimed in a car accident case may be questioned for causality. Pre-existing injuries will likely need to be considered as you work toward a negotiated settlement with the adjuster. You, your medical team, and your lawyer will have to build a case to show that your pre-existing condition was worsened or exacerbated by the car accident. They will demonstrate that you aren’t just trying to get an injury or condition that was present before the car accident, covered in the settlement.
If there is no evidence of a prior injury in that same location, then that increases the believability that the accident did indeed cause the damage.
How to Handle Surgery After a Car Accident
Ultimately, the best way to handle the need for surgery after a car accident is to follow the medical advice given to you by your doctor. Does your doctor recommend surgery to give you your best chance of returning to your normal life? If so, you should get the surgery and worry about the complex claims process afterward.
Our dedicated car accident lawyers prioritize our clients’ wellbeing. We advise all clients to do what is best for their own health, even if it makes our case against the insurance company more complicated. You deserve to have the life you had before the car accident, and if surgery can help that become a reality, you should take it.
Speak with us about how to handle medical bills and why you should pursue compensation from the at-fault driver regardless of the damage to your vehicle. Contact Scholle Law today to work with trial-tested lawyers who aren’t afraid to take your case to court against big insurance companies, so that you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Car Accident Surgeries
Not all car accident injuries require surgery. The need for surgery will depend on the severity of your injuries and their location on your body.
You may need emergency surgery following an accident due to the severe injuries suffered at the scene of your accident. Emergency surgeries are often needed in the case of severe physical injury or in the event of a traumatic brain injury. Medical professionals are doing what they need to keep patients alive, and that may sometimes leave large scars behind. The permanent scars left behind by your surgeries may be covered in your personal injury settlement as well.
Some common types of surgeries needed immediately after a car accident include:
- Stabilization surgeries for fractures
- Brain surgery to remove blood clots
- Brain surgery to relieve cranial pressure
- Surgery to repair internal bleeding
No one wants to have surgery. Make sure you listen to and consider your doctor’s medical advice. A doctor’s recommendation for surgery normally only comes when all other non-surgical methods have been exhausted and considered. Worrying about who will pay for your surgery should be the last thing on your mind, especially when not getting the surgery could permanently alter your lifestyle.
Some injuries can be monitored in hopes of improvement as well as using less invasive procedures. Procedures can include spinal shots, rehabilitation, or physical therapy. Once a doctor has used all other methods and no improvement is notable, surgery may be recommended as a last resort.
Common types of surgeries needed after a car accident where all other methods have been exhausted include:
- Back surgery to repair a herniated disc
- Repair torn muscles and ligaments
- Back surgery for broken bones or torn soft tissue
- Spinal fusion
- Plastic surgery, especially for burns and scars
Types of Damages You Can Collect
Car accident plaintiffs are not only entitled to collect monetary compensation for the property damage to their vehicle. But they are also entitled to economic and non-economic damages for their financial and emotional suffering as a result of the car accident.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Cost of specialists
- Permanent change in lifestyle
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
The last thing you need to focus on after a car accident is how much your medical treatments cost. We believe that the negligent party needs to cover the damages which they have caused. Our mission is to offer you compassionate care while we collect the maximum compensation for you.
Don’t let money worries prevent you from getting the medical treatment you need. Call Scholle Law today at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. You don’t pay us until we win your case.