Should a possible fusion surgery in the future be considered in the personal injury settlement?

by Nicole
(Yakima WA)

I suffered an anterior cervical spine personal injury. My bone scan has verified the trauma. The spine specialists have no treatment to help. I now deal with daily neck, shoulder and back pain, and, when triggered, debilitating head aches.

Down the road I could now need a cervical fusion. Would a potential spine fusion surgery be included in the personal injury settlement? The other driver was declared 100% at fault. As the specialists have so far concluded my injury may be permanent. Should I hire an attorney?

Answer by Guy Parrinello

Hello. I’m sorry to hear about your injuries. The short answer is, yes, the future surgery should be considered, and yes, you should hire an attorney.

The insurance company is not going to agree that you will need future surgery. Instead, you will need expert testimony (of the doctor or surgeon) that you will, more likely than not, need that surgery in the future.

Also, the expert will need to testify to the cost of the surgery, the recovery time, the time out of work, the pain relating to recovery, future physical therapy, and a host of other related damages.

You might also need an economist or life care planner to testify about the limitations you will have after surgery, any assistive devices you might need, and any changes you might need to make to your residential or work environment as the result of the surgery.

My non-legal advice is to find a local injury attorney, get a free consultation and make sure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Good luck.

Disclaimer: The author of this posting is a lawyer licensed to practice law in the State of New York. This posting is intended as general information only, is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship.

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