MRI in Personal Injury Claims: What Is It and Why Is It Important in Florida?
Dear Miami Personal Injury Lawyer:
I recently had a car wreck after dropping my kids off at school. It was not so serious, meaning, I was able to drive away from it, go to work and still pick my kids up later that afternoon. Two or three days later my low back started to ache.
My neighbor, JM Schwartz* is a chiropractor who said he could see me at his office over the weekend. He took some extras and told me that I needed to see him a couple of times a week. He billed my auto insurance, I think, because he has never sent me a bill or even asked for money. The pain has gotten a lot better, but I still kind of feel it every few days. He suggested a lawyer he knows Paul Roberts* and I went to see him because I thought maybe I should and maybe I could get some money for the hassle of it all. Para leer en español haga clic aquí.
The first thing the lawyer asked me on the phone when I called to make the appointment was if I had an MRI. Why is that so important and why would that be the first thing he would want to know about my case? BTW (sic) I mentioned this to my neighbor and he said he would be happy to get one for me if that is something my lawyer wanted. This all sounded kind of fishy, what do you recommend? Thank you, M.P. Rodriguez.*
Thank you Ms. Rodriguez,
I appreciate your confidence in seeking our help. First I do not believe that medical decisions should be made by lawyers or through emails. The decisions on what kind of diagnostic testing is appropriate for a given patient is one that must come from a trust physician to his or her patient. MRI in Personal Injury claims are complicated and need to be handled appropriately.
Q. What is MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and they have been around for decades, to diagnose orthopedic, neurologic and even cardiac problems. PI lawyers who specialize in car accidents in Florida like to rely on MRI results to prove or defend personal injury claims–because they can show a jury what an X-ray cannot.
Q. How does an MRI work?
Patients are asked to lay down on narrow bed that contains a giant magnet and are pushed into an MRI machine that coordinates the body’s magnetic fields while a low frequency radio wave absorbs the slight variations and spins that occur in the body.
The magnets in MRIs pick up on the tiny magnetic fields spinning around in the proton and hydrogen atoms contained in human body and take pictures of the soft tissues surrounding bones, joints, tendons and nerves.
Q. How much does an MRI cost?
I have seen a single MRI cost anywhere from $500 to $5,351 depending on where it is being done and what kind of insurance the patient has, if any. And depending on the patient’s need several MRIs may be required, both with and without a contrasting agent which can make provide additional and valuable diagnostic information.
Q. Why did your Chiropractor not order the MRI?
Most people who get in a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accident in Florida have at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection available to pay for lost wages and or medical bills depending upon the deductible.
Now I do not know your chiropractor and we have changed his name to publish this article, many would prefer to utilize your limited PIP benefits ($10,000 less any deductible) for themselves rather than allocate several thousand dollars towards an MRI.
Q. 3 Questions You Need to Ask Now:
1. How much PIP benefits do I have left and is it enough to cover the MRI?
2. Why was an MRI not recommended before?
3. Who will read the MRI results (insists on a Board Certified Radiologist).
At this point, I suggest you start asking both your doctor and lawyer these hard questions–and if you are unhappy with their answers feel free to obtain a second medical and legal opinion.
Also please be completely truthful in your medical history to your doctors and lawyer about any injuries, treatment or complaints you may have had for low back complaints in the past as this can change drastically change the value of your case. Trust me, the car insurance lawyers will ultimately discover the truth and it could potentially destroy any case you may have.
I hope this helps in answering your questions and I appreciate your willingness for allowing me to share your email with our readers.
Our Florida car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients receive excellent medical care and aggressive legal representation in the event of a traffic accident. We provide free consultations and handle cases across the State of Florida. Our Tampa personal injury lawyers handle cases from Jacksonville, Tampa, St. Petersberg, Sarasota, Naples, Bonita Springs and our primary office in Miami covers all of South Florida and the Florida Keys.
If you have been in a bicycle, truck, motorcycle or car accident in Florida, call us today Toll Free: 866-597-4529 or email me, Spencer Aronfeld.