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How do I know if I need surgery after a crash?


If you sustained a severe injury in a car accident, it will likely not heal on its own. Finding out that you need surgery may be the last thing you want to hear. That could mean a significant amount of time away from work or engaging in activities you enjoy. To make matters worse, you're hit with massive medical expenses that may be impossible to pay off while you're out of work.

If you must undergo surgery after a crash, it's critical that you speak to an experienced Washington car accident attorney who can help you weigh your legal options.

 Injuries that often require surgery

These severe injuries often require surgery to make a full recovery:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) — Mild TBIs and concussions usually don't require surgery. Yet, they tend to be more common in car accidents. Severe TBIs such as skull fractures, open head trauma, hematomas, hemorrhages, and diffuse axonal damage can result in permanent brain damage and be life-threatening. These injuries often require surgery, along with other therapeutic treatments.
  • Severe bone fractures — Mild bone fractures may only require casting to heal. Bones that are broken into two or more pieces need to be put back together and held in place. Metal plates, pins, screws and wires are often used.
  • Neck, back and spine injuries — Slipped or herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or spinal cord damage can lead to serious (and sometimes permanent) pain and complications. The following surgical procedures are necessary after sustaining a severe injury to the neck, back and spine:
    • Spinal fusion — Two or more vertebrae fused together to fix a broken vertebra.
    • Laminectomy — A small part of a vertebra surgically removed to reduce pressure on a spinal nerve.
    • Discectomy — Part of a herniated disc removed to reduce pressure on a spinal nerve.
    • Vertebroplasty — Broken vertebra repaired with acrylic bone cement filling.
  • Muscle, tendon, or ligament tears — When a muscle, tendon, or ligament tears, it may not heal without surgery. We often see this with knee injuries and rotator cuff tears.
  • Severe injuries to the face — Severe facial injuries can cause disfigurement and permanent scarring. These types of injuries often require plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery.

What comes after surgery?

In addition to surgery, you may have to undergo months of physical therapy, compression, elevation, ice/heat therapy and pain medication. On top of that, you may need to rest and avoid any physically demanding activities until you recover.

This can be both financially and emotionally devastating for crash victims. That's why the car accident attorneys at Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC are committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve. Our legal team knows how to investigate crashes, deal with insurance companies, and advocate for fair financial settlements.

We serve crash victims and their families in Kent, Washington, and the greater Seattle area. Contact us online to schedule your free legal consultation.

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