QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE GETTING SURGERY FOR ACCIDENT INJURY
Has your doctor said you need surgery because of an accident? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have surgery each year after being injured in an accident that was not their fault. Our injury attorneys in Minnesota frequently discuss surgery options with our clients. There are several considerations that our MN personal injury lawyer will discuss with you regarding surgery after being injured in an accident. Here is an article from www.healthfinder.gov.
For most surgeries after an accident, you will have time to find out about the operation, talk with your doctor about other possible treatments, and decide what to do. Except in emergency cases, you should also have time to get a second opinion.
Questions to Ask Before Accident Surgery
Deciding to have surgery can be hard, but it may be easier once you know why you need surgery. Talk with your surgeon about the operation. It may help to take a member of your family or a friend with you to the doctor appointment. Don’t hesitate to ask the surgeon questions. For example, do the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks? Risks may include infections, bleeding a lot, or a reaction to the anesthesia.
Your surgeon should be willing to answer your questions. If you don’t understand the answers, ask the surgeon to explain more clearly. Answers to the following questions will help you make an informed decision about your treatment:
- What is the surgery? Do I need it now, or can I wait?
- Can another treatment be tried instead of surgery?
- How will the surgery affect my health and lifestyle?
- What kind of anesthesia will be used? What are the side effects and risks of having anesthesia?
- Will I be in pain? How long will the pain last?
- When will I be able to go home after the surgery?
- What will the recovery be like? How long will it take to feel better?
- What will happen if I don’t have the surgery?
- Is there anything else I should know about this surgery?
Choosing a Surgeon After Being Injured In an Accident
Your primary care doctor may suggest a surgeon to you. Your state or local medical society can tell you about your surgeon’s training. There is also a lot of information online about your surgeon, the procedure, and the facility where the procedure will be performed. Try to choose a surgeon who operates often on medical problems like yours. In most cases, our top MN accident injury lawyers do not recommend or refer people to specific doctors. However, we are aware of many Minnesota surgeons in most specialties and we will share what we know about the doctor you are considering.
Getting a Second Opinion Before Surgery
Getting a second opinion means asking another doctor about your surgical plan. It is a common medical practice. Most doctors think it’s a good idea. With a second opinion, you will get expert advice from another surgeon who knows about treating your medical problem. A second opinion can help you make a good decision.
You can ask your surgeon to send your medical records to the second doctor. This can save time and money since you may not have to repeat tests. When getting a second opinion, be sure to tell the doctor about all your symptoms and the type of surgery that has been suggested.
Your health insurer will often be willing to pay for a second opinion. If you have been in an auto accident, your auto insurer will usually also be willing to pay for it through No Fault benefits.
Before having any surgery, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This form says that the surgeon has told you about the operation, the risks involved, and what results to expect. It’s important to talk about all your concerns before signing this form. Your surgeon should be willing to take the time needed to make sure you know what is likely to happen before, during, and after surgery.
Outpatient surgery, sometimes called same-day surgery, is common for many types of operations. This type of surgery can be done in a special part of the hospital or in a surgical center. You will go home within hours after the surgery. Outpatient surgery can cost less than an overnight hospital stay. Your doctor will tell you if outpatient surgery is right for you.
Planning for Surgery
There are many steps you can take to make having surgery a little easier.
- Make sure you have your pre-operation tests and screenings, such as blood tests and x-rays.
- Be sure you have all your insurance questions answered.
- Make plans for any medical equipment or help with health care you will need when you go home.
- Arrange for an adult to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24-hours after surgery.
- Get written instructions about your follow up care, a phone number to call if you have a problem, and prescription medicines you’ll need at home.
The day of surgery:
- Leave your jewelry at home.
- Don’t wear make-up or contact lenses to surgery.
- Make sure you follow all your doctor’s directions once you’re home.
- Go for your scheduled post-operative check-up.
- Ask your doctor when you can return to your normal activities.
Paying for Surgery After Being Injured in Accident
The total cost of any surgery includes many different medical bills. Your surgeon can tell you how much he or she charges. You may also be billed by other doctors, such as the anesthesiologist. There will be hospital facility charges as well. To find out what the hospital will cost, call the hospital’s business office.
You should also check with your health insurer to get an estimate of costs and your patient responsibility. For information about Medicare benefits, call the toll-free customer service line at 800-633-4227. If you have secondary or supplemental health insurance, check to see what part of the costs it will pay. Talk to your surgeon if you can’t afford the surgery.
Of course in the accident injury cases our best lawyers handle, an important part of our job is to recover medical expenses for our client in addition to other compensation. However, initially most of the bills will be paid through your health insurance, or auto insurance if you have been in a car crash.
In Case of Emergency Surgery
An accident or sudden illness may result in emergency surgery. That’s why you should always carry the following information with you:
Make copies of this information to keep in your wallet and glove compartment of your car—just in case you need emergency care.
Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are experienced accident injury lawyers in MN with more than 25 years’ experience handling hundreds of injury cases. Pam Rochlin is a former partner at Meshbesher and Spence, offering small firm attention and personal service. David and Pam are married and we treat our clients like they are a part of our family.
We have offices where you can meet an injury lawyer in Minneapolis MN, St. Louis Park and Woodbury. A best personal injury attorney will also meet our injured in accident clients at their homes in St. Paul MN, Chanhassen, Chaska, Maple Grove, Apple Valley, White Bear Lake, Brooklyn Park, and other cities throughout Minnesota. Call us for a free consultation. We will help you with medical bills and lost wages because of an accident that requires surgery.