MRI'S IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES INVOLVING NECK OR BACK INJURY

November 8, 2011

How Will an MRI Help My Auto Accident Case?

MRI.jpg Doctors often pursue conservative treatment in cases of whiplash, consisting of medication along with physical therapy or chiropractic sessions. This means that if you have an injury from an auto accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, pedestrian accident, or some other type of injury, then you can expect that the medical professional that you choose to see will only do what is absolutely medically necessary to treat your injury and nothing more. This is an ethical issue as well as a medical one. If the conservative treatment is unsuccessful, doctors then often order Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to help with the diagnosis. MRI results can potentially make a huge difference in the value of the injured person's case.

MRI's can be tricky. You would benefit from hiring an experienced Sarasota Automobile Accident Attorney to help you get proper medical attention for your car crash injury. Some patients may have a negative MRI finding even though they consistently complain of neck and low back pain. A negative MRI finding does not necessarily mean that there is no injury. MRI's show injuries to discs of the spine, but they do not show ligament damage.
Sometimes, motion x-rays may be required to document ligament injuries.

What Are The Most Common MRI Findings on a Car Accident Injury Victim?

The most common disc abnormalities that show up on MRI's include bulging discs, protrusions or herniated discs. These terms mean different things to different people. A bulge to one radiologist may be read as a herniation by another radiologist. When there is a major difference of opinion among two radiologists regarding the same MRI film, the injury case can become quite complicated. In one instance, one radiologist interpreted an MRI as showing a herniation, and the insurance company hired its own radiologist who read it as normal.

To add to these complications, Insurance companies have argued that up to 40% of the population may already have a bulge, protrusion or herniated disc without experiencing pain and without ever being involved in an accident. This can make it even more difficult to prove that an abnormal MRI finding after an accident resulted from that accident. An experienced Personal Injury Attorney can help you in this regard. At Morgan Dramis, we use the finest and most qualified experts to read and interpret MRI film and other medical record results for your trial. A qualified expert can make the difference between winning or losing your auto accident case.

Some radiologists suggest that MRI observations can help to determine whether the abnormal finding has been present for a while (preexisted), or whether it is something new caused by the recent auto accident. Most of the time, however, these clues cannot be seen on the MRI films. The patient's accident history seems to be the main focus in most cases. An examination of the patient's medical records can help determine if complaints of pain in the same area had been reported before the accident. A history of trauma, combined with complaints of pain in the same area will lead the defense to argue that the condition was "preexisting."

Will Hiring A Sarasota or Bradenton Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Insurance companies will focus on finding ways to argue that back or neck injury complaints were pre existing injuries, present prior to the accident. They will insist this is so even with an abnormal MRI finding. They will try to uncover any instance where the patient complained of neck or back pain prior to the accident or if they were ever in a previous car accident where they were injured. Jurors award less money to someone who has aggravated a previous injury. The patient's case will be the strongest when there is no previous history of neck or back pain. Although many cases involve clients who have pre existing injuries, the key is to disclose all of the prior car accident or injuries to the insurance company before your trial. Since we take cases on a contingency basis, we have a large investment of our time, money and firm resources in your case, when it comes to trial will always allow the truth to be the only thing the Jury will hear. At Morgan Dramis, our Auto Accident Trial Lawyers have been helping clients for over 20 years win their cases. We understand how the Courtroom works, how Judges like to hear evidence and how a jury reacts to different elements of your case.

Clients know how much worse they feel after an accident, even if they had previously complained of neck or back pain. Too often in medical records, neck or back complaints are described in such general terms that it becomes difficult for a jury to determine if the injury is related to a new accident injury or a preexisting one. Even when there are abnormal MRI findings, the existence of prior injuries or complaints of pain can result in a reduction of value of an injury case.

Doctors will treat patients based on their complaints of pain, not just on the MRI findings. In non-surgical cases, MRI findings are helpful, but not the most controlling factor. The disc injury must be serious enough to cause pain, headaches and diminished range of motion that requires treatment. What a patient tells their doctor, how they feel, the kinds of treatment they require, how long their treatment is, how they respond to treatment and how their daily life is affected by the injury all play an important role in determining the value of their case.

In the end, the role of the accident attorney is to present the evidence to the insurance company of your injury in the most truthful and accurate way possible, whether it resulted from a car accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, pedestrian accident, drunk driving accident, bicycle accident, hit and run, or other type of accident injury. Accuracy and completeness are the keys to a successful auto accident lawsuit. The attorneys at Morgan Dramis are here today to speak to you about your case. We will sit with you and help you decide what options are available and what the best course of action to take is. If you have been injured as a result of someone else's negligence, please call our office today to discuss your rights. There is no charge for discussing your accident case with our attorneys, nor is there any obligation to hire us. If we accept your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. Call today (941) 953-4555. Morgan Dramis, P.A., "Protecting Your Rights"

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