FAQ: My doctor has recommended I have surgery because of my injury. Should I?

My doctor has recommended I have surgeryThis is one question that makes every injury attorney cringe. Really? You’re asking me if you should have surgery?

While I appreciate the opportunity to weigh in on a client’s medical decision, this is really a decision that is best made by the client, their doctor and their family.

However, once in a while I will answer the question, when it’s phrased like this: “I cannot stand the pain any longer. I cannot go on like this. My surgeon has recommended surgery and I think I might take that advice.” In that case, the patient has more or less made up his or her mind. The pain is intolerable and they are just looking for reassurances that the decision is, in fact, a good option for them.

When this happens, I will try to put the client at ease with this decision and then spend considerable time talking about the ramifications of having surgery on their legal claim. Is there enough insurance money available to absorb the high cost of surgery? Is there any doubt that the need for surgery is because of their injury, as opposed to any pre-existing condition? Do they have sufficient personal funds to sustain them as they recuperate? I also always offer to draft health care directives if they don’t already have them for the hospital and surgeon’s records.

As always, good communications is always essential to effectively assist a client with the direction of their case.  But asking me if you should have surgery, is like me asking you if I should hire another associate attorney. It’s a very personal decision that is best left to the person.

Image source: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo

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