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MRI’s On Personal Injury Cases, The Double Edged Sword

When ordering a MRI on a personal injury case increases the value of the case.

The general rule for personal injury cases is, the higher the medical expenses, the higher the settlement amount of the claim. This, however, is not always the case. One of the most common diagnostic tests performed on someone following a personal injury is a MRI (which stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The MRI can be ordered by a chiropractor, a physical therapist, an orthopedic doctor or any other treating physician. MRI’s are generally ordered several weeks after the client has undergone some kind of treatment for an injury and based on the client/patient’s complaints, the pain is not going away. Some doctors order a MRI before they start treating a patient to see what is going on before they begin doing any sort of therapy on the patient. 

When a MRI comes back with positive findings such as a disc herniation or a disc protrusion, if related to the accident or incident, these diagnosis can greatly increase the value of a case. When a MRI comes back “normal” or with findings consistent with conditions that simply develop over time in the body that are not necessarily accident related, the value of the case is not increased. Either way, the total medical expenses are always increased whenever a MRI is ordered. As an attorney, I rely heavily on the doctor that my clients are treating with to determine whether or not they feel that a MRI will come back with positive findings. Based on their evaluation of the client/patient, they are in a much better position to know the likelihood of a MRI coming back with positive findings. 

Words to look for in a MRI report that would indicate that an injury is probably not related to an accident are arthritis and degeneration. When these words appear, it is more likely than not that the person already had some sort of injury or condition and that at most the new accident or incident just made that pre-existing condition worse.  Disc herniations, disc protrusions and tears are usually words that can appear in MRI reports that will take an injury claim to the next level and make that case more valuable than a simple soft tissue injury. As an attorney, it is important to review MRI reports as soon as possible because they often dictate what further treatment a client may or may not need as well as the potential value of the case.

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Law Office of Ryan M. Rosenthal
Formerly:
The Law Offices of Richard S. Sennett.
Practicing Law For Over 60 Years

Ryan M. Rosenthal - Partner
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