woman receiving plastic surgery after personal injury

Who Pays If I Need Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery may still be a taboo topic in Hollywood, but it is something the Stein & Shulman team commonly discusses with our Chicago area clients. At Stein & Shulman, we help the victims of car accidents, dog bites, workplace accidents, and other personal injuries make the case that the cost of any plastic surgery stemming from their accident or injury should entitle them to compensation. Over the years, we have won millions of dollars in damages for Chicagoland accident victims. 

Plastic Surgery Following A Personal Injury Accident Is Common

Following an accident or injury, doctors often recommend the victim seek cosmetic surgery to improve his or her quality of life. 

According to the most recent report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, reconstructive surgeries, which are the most common plastic surgeries conducted in response to an injury, are on the rise. Nearly 6 million reconstructive surgeries were performed in 2019 alone.  

The most common types of reconstructive surgeries were:

  • Tumor removal (including skin cancer)
  • Laceration Repair
  • Maxillofacial Surgery (mouth, jaw, face, and neck surgery)
  • Scar Revision; and 
  • Hand Surgery

While tumor removal is not something an accident or injury would trigger, all of the other surgeries are. 

Who Pays?

Whether the cost of going under the knife is covered by insurance or is something an accident victim can ask the defendant to pay for, depends on a few different factors. 

Is the surgery medically necessary? 

Most insurance companies will not pay for plastic surgery unless it is deemed medically necessary. This means it corrects an injury or deformity that impacts the victim’s ability to live a normal life or engage in activities he or she typically enjoyed before the accident.

Sometimes it is necessary to get multiple options in order to convince an insurance company that a particular procedure is medically necessary. At Stein & Shulman, we help our clients keep track of the mountain of paperwork needed to document their injuries so they receive quality care and can convince their insurance company to pay for it. 

Will not having the surgery negatively impact a victim’s quality of life? 

Even if a surgery is strictly cosmetic, it may be possible to argue that the victim should not have to pay for it out of pocket. 

For example, a scar can negatively impact a victim’s job prospects and the way others perceive him or her. It may also be an emotionally painful reminder of the accident that negatively impacts the victim’s mental health. If having cosmetic surgery will improve the look of the scar, and therefore improve the victim’s quality of life, a strong argument can be made that the victim’s surgery should be covered by insurance or paid for by the defendant. 

Post-Accident Surgeries Are Not About Vanity

Having plastic surgery following an accident is not about vanity, it is about recovering and moving forward with your life. If you have suffered an accident or injury, and your doctor has suggested you may wish to have plastic surgery as part of your healing process, the Stein & Shulman team can help you figure out if it will be covered by insurance or is something you can argue the person who caused your accident should pay for. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced team.