You can never be too careful after any automobile accident, and remember that time is going to be of major importance. To make it simple, your collision comes down to three or four tasks that must be completed for a successful personal injury claim. Always remember, the insurance company will notice if you fail to seek treatment after your accident. Delays in medical care could damage your injury case, but can also lead to additional suffering.
For starters, you need as much documentation as possible after any serious collision. Of course, this includes taking pictures at the scene of the collision, obtaining a copy of the accident report and seeking immediate medical attention. Obviously, these things are important for any successful personal injury claim. However, many injuries will require diagnostic imaging, which will help support your case.
What is Diagnostic Imaging?
To begin, let’s break down the term diagnostic imaging. Diagnostic means to help in identifying or diagnosing an illness or problem. Imaging refers to a device used to view or locate specific injuries. Generally speaking, diagnostic imaging for a car wreck injury includes an X-Ray, MRI or CT scan. Many back, neck and shoulder injuries will require diagnostic imaging after a serious automobile accident.
Again, every car wreck is unique, and many injuries will require specialized attention to properly diagnose and treat. For this reason, we recommend asking if your injury Clinic offers diagnostic imaging before scheduling treatment. Many accident Clinics will not provide diagnostic imaging. In this case, you may be forced to find a new Doctor or visit a separate Clinic for treatment. Consolidating your treatment will help manage your treatment and build your injury claim.
Diagnostic Imaging after a car wreck
Car accidents injuries can vary widely depending on a number of factors. Contributing factors include the speed at impact, age of victims, angle or severity of impact, health/age/sex of the passengers and many more. Properly diagnosing your injuries is the only way to know the treatment required after any collision. Moreover, diagnostic imaging will provide additional documentation to help support your personal injury claim.
There are several different types of diagnostic imaging when it comes to a complicated collision injury. Generally speaking, most Clinics will focus on the diagnostic imaging commonly used for automobile accident injuries. Diagnostic imaging options for car accidents injuries generally include an X-Ray, MRI, Ultra Sound and/or CT Scan.
X-Ray after a Car Accident
Even a minor car wreck may require an X-Ray to properly diagnose the possible injuries. Common collision injuries that may require an X-Ray include: Bone Spurs, Broken Bones and Fractures, Calcifications, Dislocations and general skeletal damage. An X-Ray will help your Doctor locate the specific location of the injury and the treatment required.
MRI after a Car Accident
An MRI is different than an X-Ray in that it utilizes radio waves and magnetic fields, which can help identify muscle, tendon, ligament and nerve damage. To contrast, an MRI is generally used to identify sprains, joint injuries and even head injuries, whereas an X-Ray helps with broken bones and fractures.
CT Scan after a Car Accident
CT or CAT Scan is a generally used term for a computed tomography test. Similar to an X-Ray, CT scans use a variety of images to develop an internal picture of the body. CT images can be used to create a 3D representation of organs, muscle tissue, blood vessels, bones and tissue.
Ultrasound after a Car Accident
Ultrasound is another name for sonography, otherwise known as medical diagnostic sonography. Ultrasound utilizes high frequency sound waves to help diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions. Ultrasound is commonly used to measure blood flow and help reduce or control inflammation.
Will insurance cover Diagnostic Imaging?
Auto insurance will generally cover any diagnostic imaging needed after a car wreck. However, depending on your state, you may need an attorney to cover the medical expenses needed for an X-Ray or MRI. In this case, any medical treatment provided will be documented for future reimbursement after a settlement is reached on the claim.
However, PIP or No Fault states have a different form of billing after a car wreck. Personal Injury Protection or PIP allows the treating Doctor to collect directly from the insurance company, without the need of an attorney. Either way, you can generally get the diagnostic imaging necessary after any automobile accident. You can also ask your accident Physician any questions relating to billing or diagnostic imaging.
What if I received an X-Ray or MRI in the Emergency Room?
The Emergency Room offers a complete suite of diagnostic imaging, which is why many patients will visit the Emergency Room after a serious collision. During your visit to the Emergency Room, you may receive an X-Ray, MRI or other diagnostic imaging. However, you will likely need to find an accident Doctor for any follow up care needed. Make sure to inform your Doctor about any diagnostic imaging taken in the Emergency Room.
In many cases, your Doctor will request any imaging provided in the Emergency Room. This will help build your personal injury case, and will help create a detailed treatment plan. Again, your injury claim will be largely based on your pain and suffering. For this reason, your accident Physician will collect as documentation as possible regarding your injuries. Additionally, you can also request a copy of any diagnostic imaging provided.
Second opinion after Diagnostic Imaging
Of course, you can always seek a second opinion after any serious car collision. Not all Doctors are the same, which is why many patients request a second opinion. However, you may not need a second X-Ray, MRI or other diagnostic imaging for a second opinion. In addition, the insurance company may question the necessity of duplicate imaging. Notify your Doctor about any previous diagnostic imaging received. Any good accident Physician will request copies of all past imaging, which can help when pursuing a second opinion.
In summary, you should protect your health and vitality after any accident, and diagnostic imaging is often beneficial. You can always fix a car or get a new job, but you cannot easily fix your health. Get the medical treatment you deserve if you or someone you love were involved in a car, semi-truck or motorcycle accident.