Car accidents cause more than 2.5 million injuries each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Collisions are also a leading cause of death in the United States and a primary reason for emergency room visits.
The financial toll of an accident can be devastating for a victim as well. There could be costs related to one or more of the following:
- Emergency room costs
- Doctor visits
- Medical procedures
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Medical equipment
- Insurance co-pays and deductibles
- Short-term or long-term disability
- Car repair or replacement
- Lost wages
Many car accident victims are concerned about who is going to help pay for these costs. Depending on the circumstances, various parties could be held liable for covering the victim’s medical bills and other costs. Engaging a car accident lawyer is a prudent first step for anyone involved in a serious collision.
What are Common Car Accident Injuries That Require Surgery?
Car accident injuries almost always require immediate medical attention, often including surgery. Some common car accident injuries may take days, weeks, months, or even years to show up. This is often the case with back and neck problems that surface well after an accident happens. For this reason, anyone involved in an accident should seek medical attention, even if they feel an injury is not severe. For example, an assumed case of whiplash could actually be a serious injury that requires cervical spine surgery.
Some of the most common accident injuries that often require surgery include the following:
Back Injuries: Damage to a person’s back is common in an accident. Fractures, herniated discs, and other injuries require surgery and rehabilitation and may put a person out of work for a considerable amount of time.
Spinal Injuries: Surgeries to fix back injuries often also require spinal surgeries. For example, spinal fusion is often needed to stabilize vertebrae in the back or neck after an accident or back surgery.
Knee Injuries: Knees are vulnerable in even the most minor car accidents due to their position. Ligament and bone injuries almost always require surgeries. Damage to bones close to the knees, such as the femur and tibia, is also common.
Brain and Head Injuries: Injuries above the neck are common in car accidents and are extremely serious. Immediate surgery is often required to lessen the effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), including swelling, fluid build-up, and brain tissue tears and bleeds. Head injuries, such as skull fractures, often require surgery to fix.
Dental Injuries: A person’s mouth and teeth can hit the steering wheel, dashboard, or other parts of the car in an accident, causing damage. Teeth may need dental surgery to restore function, including the ability to speak or eat correctly.
Limb Injuries: Arms, legs, hands, and feet can be crushed, severed, or otherwise injured in a car accident. Surgery is almost always needed to save a limb or restore function.
Burns, Cuts, and Lacerations: Car accidents can severely impact a person’s face and skin, often leaving scars and potential disfigurement. It is not uncommon for a victim to need plastic surgery to repair the damage.
When can I Receive Compensation After a Car Accident in Virginia?
To recover any damages from a collision, an accident victim in Virginia must prove the other driver was at fault to the full extent, and the victim was not responsible in any way. The contributory negligence law in Virginia is stricter than laws in many other states.
Once it is proven that the at-fault driver is responsible for the accident, it is time to get the insurance companies to respond. In most cases, the responsible party will be the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company. If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, the victim’s insurance may be called upon for payment. Issuing insurance payments are rarely clear-cut. Many circumstances can arise that complicate payments:
- At-fault driver’s insurance will not cover all costs of medical treatment or will not cover costs for specific needed medical procedures or services.
- At-fault driver’s insurance will require the victim to pay costs upfront then submit bills for reimbursement.
- At-fault driver’s insurance will fight the claim altogether.
- A-fault driver’s insurance will offer a settlement that does not cover the victim’s costs or compensate for lost wages.
- The victim’s own car or health insurer may not cover all costs.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance and the victim’s insurance both deny responsibility for coverage or blame each other.
How Do I Receive Compensation for Surgery after a Car Accident?
A lawyer will employ various strategies to ensure a victim gets needed medical treatment without the added stress of expensive bills. A lawyer will provide a letter of protection (LOP) to a medical provider. It ensures the medical professional receives payment from a pending claim settlement or a future lawsuit award. The medical provider then agrees to treat the victim and postpone payment collection until the case is finalized. This agreement helps the victim get needed surgery or other medical services without added financial stress. The lawyer receives all bills and pays them out of the funds awarded to the victim.
Additionally, a LOP can also keep debt collectors away, preserving a victim’s credit. This is especially useful when an insurance company is slow to pay or refuses to pay a particular bill.
A lawyer will also negotiate with the appropriate insurance company for the fairest compensation for a victim’s surgery and other medical costs; this is called a settlement negotiation. A skilled car accident lawyer will calculate all the costs associated with the surgery and the accident, including future costs. A lawyer will then demand this amount from the appropriate insurers. If they cannot negotiate a full and fair settlement with the insurer, they will prepare to go to court and let a judge decide.
How is the Compensation Amount Determined?
The compensation amount depends on the accident circumstances, which insurer is paying, what they are paying for, and how much future costs might be. It is the lawyer’s job to calculate these costs and get the victim compensated for not only surgery and other medical bills, but also for property damage, vehicle repairs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In Virginia, a personal injury victim must file for compensation within two years for most injuries. For this reason, a car accident victim should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Personal Injury Victims Get Compensated for Needed Surgery
When a car accident injury requires surgery, the victim does not need the added stress of financial worry. A Virginia Beach car accident lawyer can help a victim collect damages after a collision. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we protect the rights of car accident victims, and we help them get the maximum amount of compensation that is possible. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online for a free consultation and more information about your case. We are conveniently located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.