Clients of mine that suffer bodily injuries in either car accidents or slip and falls will often require an MRI (short for magnetic resonance imaging) at some point during the course of their personal injury claim. There are medical providers that do not believe that MRIs are necessary for treatment. However, they are essential to proving objective injuries and permanency in a personal injury case in Florida. That is because MRI images are the best method by which to visualize the actual objective injury suffered. But how does an MRI affect a Florida Personal Injury Case?
What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (“MRI”)?
MRI is the state of the art imaging technology. Personal injury attorneys prefer to have MRIs rather than x-rays or CTs on nearly every type of case. Medical providers (like hospitals) will perform a computed tomography (“CT”) scan instead of an MRI. I find this confusing as CT scans can only reveal so much about an injury.
Technically defined, magnetic resonance imaging is an “imaging technology that produces 3D detailed… images.” This type of imaging provides a more clear and detailed picture than x-rays or CT scans. While MRI is used for diagnosis of soft tissue injuries to the neck, back, shoulders, knees, hips, ankles, and other injured body parts in a personal injury case.
A CT scan is a series of x-rays. Then the x-rays are combined to form a 3D image. It can be quite helpful in the event of a serious traumatic injury. However, it does not show nearly the same amount of detail and specificity of injury as MRI.
How does it work?
Essentially, MRI machines use powerful magnets. They image the inside of a patient’s body and the water (or absence thereof) within. For soft-tissue injuries, this will often allow medical professionals to diagnose the actual internal derangements in a patient’s body in order to correlate those issues with the patient’s pain complaints.
A patient typically lies down and is moved inside of the powerful magnet that is the MRI scanner. There are also open MRI and stand-up MRI facilities. Then, the patient must lie very still for several minutes in order to prevent blurring of the images. The amount of time to complete a scan can differ. Some MRI scans can take 30 minutes, while I recently had one company tell me their company can do a scan in nine minutes.
The MRI facility will administer a contrast agent may in certain situations. The contract agent can be given by an IV in order to allow the image to come out more clear. There can be some side effects with contrast materials, but they are typically quite mild (if they occur at all)
How does MRI affect my personal injury case?
So But how does an MRI affect a Florida Personal Injury Case? The state of Florida has a permanency threshold. To receive future damages, we must show that the claimant suffered a permanent injury.
When pursuing a claim against an insurance company, it is important to remember that their objective is to pay as little to settle your claim as possible. This requires them to leave no stone unturned and pursue every possible means by which they can hurt your claim.
This means that insurance adjusters will often claim that a claimant’s pain complaints are excessive or not reasonably related to the car crash because of the property damage being minimal. Science has thoroughly debunked this claim. That doesn’t stop insurance companies from making it.
Or, insurance companies will often argue that the means by which the vehicle collision occurred or how a fall happened would not typically create the claimed injury. They argue a shoulder injury, or an ankle injury, or a certain type of neck injury would not be expected in this situation.
However, we defeat these arguments when there is a clear image of the afflicted portion of a person’s body and it reveals a definitive injury which correlates with the patient’s subjective pain complaints. In short, an MRI can often be a personal injury claimant’s best friend. .
Call Knapp Accident & Injury Law
From the moment my phone rings, I am thinking of the best ways to serve my client. My job as a personal injury attorney is to do everything within my power to help clients recover. To recover from their injuries and to recover as much as is reasonably owed to them for the injuries.
Trust that if you were injured as a result of negligence, I will be there to guide you. If you have recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall and wish to discuss it further, please call (813) 568-3724.