Yes! Assuming you have clear liability against the defendant, an MRI will definitely increase the insurance company’s offer and settlement amount for your injury claims. Following an accident with spine injuries, the first responders will likely conduct a few quick tests to determine your health and whether or not you have suffered any serious injuries. You might pass the tests at this stage, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid a trip to a medical center for further examination.
Injuries and other problems may not be evident during the initial examination and can manifest a couple of hours after an accident. For internal injuries and complications, medical professionals may recommend getting an MRI scan done to determine the extent of the injuries and starting initial medical treatment immediately.
Following a Car Accident, an MRI Should be Part of Your Medical Records
If your doctor thinks it is reasonable, yes! If you received injuries due to someone else’s fault, you might be eligible for compensation for getting hurt. After getting your police report and making a trip to the hospital for injuries sustained, especially for significant pain, an MRI or CT Scan could be necessary for the injured party to receive to rule out worse problems. All things equal, an X-ray shows back injuries differently than an MRI shows.
Contact Ehline Law and our injury attorneys today for a free consultation. We can discuss how to receive money for an accident caused by an insured or uninsured drunk driver, including getting our client’s car repaired and money for pain management. Even if you have a pre-existing condition, the MRI results from the MRI facility can help increase your settlement offer by documenting everything under a magnetic field for validation purposes.
What Is an MRI?
Just like X-rays and CT scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic scan that helps medical professionals obtain images of body structures and organs for medical assessment. An MRI uses a combination of magnetic fields and radio wave energy to produce images. Doctors usually recommend an MRI to examine any soft tissue injuries or issues with organs after an accident.
Can an MRI Help with Your Case After a Car Accident?
A medical professional recommends an MRI scan to detect any problems that may not be apparent when conducting other diagnostic scans. A doctor may not immediately perform an MRI after an accident but will first assess the injured person by asking about their prior medical history and using X-rays and CT scans. However, if nothing is evident from those scans, an MRI can reveal injuries and other internal damage, if there are any.
Since you’ll first pay medical expenses out of your pocket to receive treatment, an MRI will increase the cost of the medical examination. Increased medical bills can directly increase your personal injury case’s value and, typically, increase settlement. An MRI can reveal injuries as a result of an accident, and MRI scan images are proof of evidence of the damage when filing claims.
However, an MRI will only help strengthen the case if you’re not at fault and have received injuries affecting your life. Sometimes there is not enough coverage under the insurance policy limit for an MRI, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses. But bad back pain and disability are best captured by advanced imaging methods. Whether PIP pays is something we have to deal with later. To get the total value of your case, you must prove your herniated disc or other car crash back injury, knee injury, etc., is from damaged structures inside your body. If not, you’ll receive a lowball offer and probably have to sue the other driver.
When Can an MRI Help My Case?
Whether it is an auto accident or medical malpractice, an MRI is functional in situations where the injuries from an accident are evident from the MRI scan images, like soft tissue injury. For example, a brain injury after a car accident showing up on an MRI can increase the settlement value of that car accident case.
An MRI can also reveal other injuries you may not recognize since their symptoms may not appear until a couple of days later. For example, you may claim a hand injury after an accident, but upon an MRI scan, you may also have a spinal injury. If you only file a claim for a hand injury, you will be unable to file a claim for a spinal injury once you sign the settlement agreement.
Injured victims often wait for their insurers to recommend an MRI scan in many car accident cases. However, prolonging treatment for injuries will work against you. By delaying medical examination, you allow the other insurance company to argue that the delayed treatment resulted in injuries rather than the accident itself, limiting the amount of compensation you receive.
An MRI revealing injuries from an accident can also help doctors create a treatment plan for the injured patient to follow. Such documents further aid in strengthening your car accident case. But you must never give a recorded statement, admit any pre-existing condition, seek additional treatment, or accept a low-ball offer. You must hire a top-notch personal injury attorney and get surgery or physical therapy as recommended.
Will Personal Injury Protection Pay for an MRI?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is additional insurance coverage that covers medical expenses up to the policy limits as a result of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. You can expect the insurer to pay for your MRI if you have PIP.
In cases where you receive injuries due to an uninsured motorist, you will have to pay for the damage from your pocket unless you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Insurance Companies and Radiologists
Insurance companies have legal and medical experts on their payroll, including radiologists. The MRI report you send to the assigned insurance adjuster goes to the radiologists hired by the insurer. In many cases, a radiologist will describe the findings of the MRI report in favor of their employer, the insurance company. However, a defense radiologist has a duty of care and must act ethically. An experienced car accident lawyer can hold the radiologist and the insurance company responsible for misreporting facts and findings.
Fortunately, many insurance companies use the same doctors and radiologists for the majority of their cases, which means that a jury will likely not put much weight on the defense radiologist’s testimony if they come to know that the majority of the time, the defense radiologist testifies for the defense.
Other Factors an Insurance Company Considers
MRI scan images are not the only factors that affect a car accident settlement.
Here are a few factors that may affect the value of your personal injury claim:
- The severity of the injury (whiplash or disc burst fracture?).
- Strong medical evidence
- Evidence of negligence by the other party (T boned by a big rig that ran a stop sign?).
- Which party is at-fault
- The amount of time it takes to receive treatment
- and more.
There are many other factors that an insurer considers that affect the settlement amount. For example, car accidents resulting in brain injuries will fetch a higher settlement amount than those with soft tissue injuries. Hiring an attorney to represent your personal injury case increases the chances of you receiving a maximum settlement compared to if you were to file a claim against the insurer yourself.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney To Learn More About an MRI Today
If you received injuries due to no fault of your own, contact us at (213) 596-9642. Our attorneys will help with the insurance claim, offer legal advice, negotiate with the claim adjusters and even present a lawsuit to get you fair compensation to settle your loss in most cases. For more information, contact Ehline Law Firm or visit any of our law offices for a free case evaluation! We take the attorney-client relationship seriously.