Why is Diagnostic Imaging Necessary Post Accident?
Why is diagnostic imaging important after an accident?
Within the practice of Personal Injury Law, lawyers see the most painful injuries that affect clients. These injuries cause lifelong pain and suffering, therefore drastically reducing Quality of Life (“QoL”). From Medical Malpractice to car accident injuries, there’s never a specific injury that’s more or less painful. It depends, however, on the client and how each individual experiences pain.
One thing that remains the same across each and every Personal Injury case: the necessity of diagnostic imaging. Imaging is useful to thoroughly determine the extent of the victim’s injuries. This Shaked Law Resource article provides the information necessary to understand different types of diagnostic imaging. For instance, in cases such as a Spinal Cord Injury or a TBI that requires extensive surgery, more than one type of imaging may be necessary. Broken bones always immediately necessitate the need for diagnostic imaging.
What is diagnostic imaging?
First of all, readers should be familiar with several common forms of diagnostic imaging available to determine the extent of injuries after an accident.
- X-ray image. A first line study to visualize broken bones
- MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Diagnoses neck, back, spine, and cervical spine injuries. Provides a better look at cartilage and soft tissue, which doesn’t appear on an X-ray
- CT Scan, or Computed Tomography. Commonly used to diagnose muscle and bone injuries, thus providing better visualization than standard X-ray.
What are more advanced types of imaging?
MRI imaging. This type of imaging visualizes injuries unseen on a standard X-ray. Cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscle have better visualization on MRI. The use of strong magnets obtains the image, thus MRI has no radiation. However, MRI imaging can take longer than the standard X-ray or CT scan. Depending on what the scan is for, MRI can run anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. An MRI causes no pain to the patient.
CT scan. A CT scan, or Computed Tomography scan is faster than an MRI. Usually under 20 minutes. It visualizes most of the same things as an MRI. However, like an X-ray, a CT scan’s level of radiation is often not preferable to the patient and their doctor. In the event of a pregnancy, for instance, a doctor may skip CT altogether and use MRI.
Diagnostic imaging for Traumatic Brain Injury
DTI Scan, or Diffuse Tensor Imaging. This high level imaging is commonly necessary for TBI patients to get the best possible picture of the brain. It’s the only imaging study currently available that allows doctors to see the white matter of the brain, thus, it determines the extent of a brain injury.
This imaging technique is useful in TBI to get a thorough image of the brain. It’s the only imaging study currently available that allows a doctor to see the brain’s white matter. Afterward, the doctor gives the image a score, and thusly determines the extent of a TBI. As a result, DTI is more precise than a CT or MRI in these specific situations.
Where does diagnostic imaging take place?
Furthermore, diagnostic imaging can be either outpatient or inpatient, in a hospital, or in a dedicated facility. However, patients who experience claustrophobia should let their doctor know. In these situations there are special facilities that offer the “open” scan options.
Why do victims require a Personal Injury lawyer post accident?
Finally, every Personal Injury case is different. Each injury a client suffers due to an accident or Medical Negligence causes symptoms unique to that client. Clients may be confined to a wheelchair, or require the use of mobility aides. To determine what’s best for a client’s injuries, diagnostic imaging is often the first part of a larger treatment plan.
After an accident, victims should immediately seek legal representation from a Board Certified lawyer. Then, once stable on the medical side, it’s important to seek legal advice on the next steps. This is to ensure maximum compensation for pain and suffering. The most important thing to remember when speaking with a Personal Injury lawyer is to be honest! Honesty gets the client far, while lying to the lawyer or exaggerating hurts or even kills the case.
An important reminder
Disclaimer: Any symptoms post accident should always be discussed with a licensed medical professional and a lawyer. One should never rely on articles found via the internet when making important medical or legal decisions. This article is informative, however, not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.