The Importance of Getting An MRI After An Auto Accident

mri scanBetween traveling to and from work, running errands, taking road trips, and shuffling the kids around, we spend more time in our vehicle than we may realize. Because of this, motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of injuries in the United States.

If you are lucky, you may walk away from the accident with just some scrapes and bruises. But some symptoms may be delayed. For the first few days or weeks, you may not be in any pain at all. However, this does not mean you were not seriously injured. Once the adrenaline has worn off and time has passed, hidden injuries may become noticeable. Because delayed injuries can be dangerous, it is always important to see a physician as soon as possible after an accident.

When you are involved in a serious accident and it is suspected that you have sustained some type of neck or back injury, a doctor will order an MRI for you.

But, what is the procedure for minor accidents? In such a case, doctors will still have you undergo an MRI. The reality is that smaller accidents like a fender bender or a minor fall could have the potential of causing serious injuries that only an MRI would reveal.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scan that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to create images of internal tissues and organs without the use of radiation. It can reveal issues that cannot be seen with other types of imaging methods such as X-Rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds. It can determine the extent of injuries to the spinal cord, brain and head, internal organs, back, neck and tissue/muscle.

The most common results of an MRI will reveal the following cervical and lumbar injuries:

herniated disc mriHerniated Disc. This is when the soft center of the spinal disc pushes through a crack in the outer casing, which irritates the nerve causing pain, numbness, and/or weakness.

Bulging Disc. Similarly, this causes pain, numbness, and/or weakness, but only a small portion of the disc is affected.

Protruding Disc. If serious pressure is put on a bulging disc, it may be diagnosed as a protrusion.

Extruding Disc. This occurs when the outer wall of an intervertebral disc tears, causing the inner disc material to seep into the spinal canal.

All sounds pretty painful right? Although, getting an MRI can be an expensive procedure, it can be crucial to not only your health, but also to your lawsuit. Having an MRI can increase the value of your case when you are injured.

Ultimately, an MRI can prevent insurance companies from making unfair arguments. Because of their high cost, insurance companies do not like paying for MRI’s. But, if an insurance adjuster tries to claim that you are faking or exaggerating their injury, an MRI image can show the extensive damage to the spine, spinal discs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck and back.

An MRI can prove that your injuries were, in fact, caused by the accident and were not degenerative. Based on the results, a doctor can then recommend the right treatment and give you a prognosis of recovery, which will aid in later calculating damages.

Further, an MRI can you protect in the event of future claims. If you obtain a subsequent injury after your first accident, recordation of the first MRI will prove that the injury was related to your first accident and not the following one. If nothing else, it may prove that the subsequent accident made your initial injury worse.

Remember, just because you think you are fine immediately after an auto accident does not mean that you ARE fine. Your personal injury attorney can explain the importance of getting an MRI after an accident as well as set you up with a trusted and reputable local physician.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 833-597-1818 (toll-free), 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office), or email us at

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