The injured person, and the personal injury lawyer, must prove the extent of the victim’s injuries. The injured person’s testimony is some evidence of harm, but it is not be the only form. Doctors, and other medical professionals, bring important medical evidence of injuries.
Some of the most important medical evidence in your personal injury case comes from diagnostic scans. A picture is worth a thousand words.
X-rays are medical evidence of fractures and other kinds of trauma to hard and structural objects in the body, like bones. Doctors may base their initial diagnoses on those x-rays.
X-rays most commonly show fractures (broken bones) because these scans highlight bony parts of your body. The x-ray will show the doctors, and a jury, how badly and in what way the bones are broken. The x-ray gives medical evidence of the extent of damage to the bone.
The x-ray film, the doctor’s findings, and impressions are usually the first, and most basic, pictures of your insides after you get hurt. An x-ray that shows a clear injury leaves much less doubt about how badly you are hurt.
X-rays taken after an operation also show how the bone was repaired, possibly with screws, rods or plates. The x-rays also can show the healing process, whether the bone has regrown. These later x-rays are medical evidence of the extent of the injury after the healing process has begun.
X-rays might not tell the whole story though. X-rays cannot see certain types of injuries to non-bony parts of you.
CT Scan or “CAT scan” can give further medical evidence of certain types of injuries to the head, heart, pelvis, spine and harder parts of the body (e.g. bones).
The x-ray only shows a flat picture of a person’s insides. That means shadows and overlying body parts might obscure the x-ray image. The CT scan takes a 360 degree view of the patient. CT scans therefore can be especially useful to examine injuries to the spine by showing smaller abnormalities harder to detect with an x-ray.
An MRI is not like an x-ray or CT scan since it will show injuries to soft tissues like ligaments, tendons, spinal discs, and the brain.
For example an ACL tear will not be clear on an x-ray but can be seen on an MRI. A brain hemorrhage could more clearly be seen using the MRI. A herniated disc is also more clearly shown using an MRI.
Your emergency room diagnoses may be “sprain or strain” when in reality you are suffering a tear or herniation–a much more serious injury. The MRI will help doctors diagnose and treat those injuries to non-bony parts of you.
In personal injury cases, actual images from the x-rays, CT scans and the MRI can be strong medical evidence showing exactly how an injury looks on the inside.
A person with a brain bleed, a torn ACL, or a herniated disc may look normal outside, but the scan showing the tear, bleed, or herniation on the inside is clear medical evidence of a serious injury.
Fisher Injury Lawyers use scans and other medical evidence in trial to show juries the full extent of serious personal injuries. Call us to discuss using medical evidence in your serious personal injury case.