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Do I need to Get An MRI After A Car Accident?

Posted by James Aspell | Oct 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

Should I Get An MRI After A Car Accident?

We have had many clients ask me “Should I get an MRI after a car accident?“   Usually, the client asks this question because a friend, family member, or coworker said “I had an MRI after my car accident.  You should get one too.”

It always makes me feel good to know that my client trusts me and want my advice about whether they should receive an MRI or any form of specialized diagnostics, , but this is a medical issue.  All medical treatment decisions must be decided by a trained medical professional… not a Connecticut injury attorney.

We recommend that you bring up any MRI related questions you have with your doctor.  Your doctor will decide if you need an MRI based on his or her examination and an evaluation of the symptoms and injuries that are unique to your case.  I'm not a doctor, but it seems that doctors are likely to order an MRI if you have radiating pain, numbness, tingling, and/or severe pain. In my experience a doctor is more likely to order an MRI after a period of more conservative treatment has not given you any relief of your pain.  So be sure to give an accurate description of all you're your injuries to your doctor.  Also, be sure to let your doctor know if your injury symptoms change over time.

What Is An MRI?

First off, it's probably a good idea to explain what an MRI is. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI machines use a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to basically create images of your internal body parts.   X-rays also create internal images of your body, but they are distinctly different from MRIs.  For example, x-rays are great for determining if a bone is broken.  However, an x-ray cannot confirm if soft tissue is injured.   Soft tissues include muscles, tendons, and other connective tissues in the body. Soft tissue injuries are among the most common injuries sustained in car accidents. We often refer to some types of soft injuries as whiplash.

What If I Want An MRI Anyway?

It doesn't happen very often, but I have had clients who wanted to receive an MRI even though their doctor did not feel that an MRI was necessary.   In these situations, it's important to keep in mind that the at-fault driver's insurance carrier will only pay for medical treatment that is reasonable and necessary and related to your car accident.  From a legal standpoint, it will not benefit you to push your doctor to order an MRI if it not medically necessary.  From a medical standpoint, it's important to make sure that a doctor will need to write an order for you to receive an MRI.  In other words, you cant  just show up at an MRI facility and ask to receive an MRI.

Does Having  An MRI Help My Car Accident Case?

Like x-rays, the results of MRIs cannot be fabricated or made up.   In the legal world, everything is based on evidence, so it can be very helpful to have test results that show that you were legitimately injured in your car accident.

For example, a jury will probably believe that you were injured in a car accident after seeing pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved, the police officer's accident report, and hearing you testify.  However, the same jury is even more likely to believe that you injured if you can show them the results of an MRI that you got after your car accident as well as other medical records.

Here's How We Can Help

Receiving medical treatment after a car accident can be a bit tricky. Sometimes, certain health insurance plans will not pay for medical treatment that was caused by a car accident.  The plans the do cover medical treatment for a car accident often limit the amount of treatment they will cover.

Jim Aspell  has helped hundreds of Connecticut  car accident victims in Hartford, New Britain, Middletown and throughout the Greater Hartford area.  Call us if you're asking yourself “Should I get an MRI after a car accident?”  We can help you find a doctor who will answer your questions about MRIs and many other car accident injury-related questions

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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