Medical Images And Their Importance In Personal Injury Cases

by | Published on Mar 2, 2022 | Medical Record Review

Medical images are pictures that clearly show the interior of the human body. Taken using weak radiation such as magnetic fields or X-rays, these are valuable court exhibits that can narrate the story accurately to the attorneys, judge and jury. Medical imaging studies comprise an important section of the patient’s medical chart and help the plaintiff and his/her lawyer to prove the injury and its impact. When a medical chart review company reviews the medical images, they focus on whether the injury has damaged any internal organ. This is important from the point of view of the compensation to be claimed. The significance of medical images is that they make complex concepts clear, and as the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Medical Images Important for Both Plaintiff and Defense Sides

Documentation of the injury in a personal injury case has a major role to play when it comes to claims for financial recovery. This documentation has to be very comprehensive, or extensive, and the data must be right from the time the plaintiff reported the injury to the concerned authorities to when the case comes for trial in a court-of-law. In fact, medical records including medical images, could be the most important component of the injury claim. For instance, in an injury claim related to a broken bone, medical scans or X-rays showing the fracture of the bone should be submitted as irrefutable evidence.  Medical images are significant for both plaintiff and defense sides.

  • They can prove that the injury is serious or debilitating, and help the plaintiff obtain the right compensation.
  • Accurate medical images can help insurance companies and defense attorneys establish that the injury is not serious, or the patient has not followed the physician’s treatment recommendations.
  • During a trial, medical images are the best tools to demonstrate to the judges and jurors the seriousness or mildness of an injury.
  • The images help to prove tissue and organ function, and are much more effective than reading about them in the medical records.

Types of Medical Images

Here is a look at the different types of medical images that medical record review companies get to review.

  • X-rays: These provide a clear view of the bones, internal structures, and foreign objects left behind during surgery. They show bone fractures, and abnormalities in the internal organs.
  • MRI images: Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI images provide a clear view of the brain, spine, cardiovascular system, and cancerous tumors.
  • CT scans: Computed Tomography scans capture multiple images and these are used to form two-dimensional and three-dimensional views of the organs and structures inside the body. They can capture internal organ injuries, tumors, internal bleeding, and brain swelling that X-rays may miss. Moreover, CT scans can also reveal abnormalities and bone damage more clearly.
  • SPECT scans: Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography scans can provide factual 3D information. The information, typically presented in cross-sectional slices, clearly shows the damaged organ parts. These can also indicate injuries originating from undiagnosed and untreated cerebral and cardiac conditions.
  • PET images: Positron Emission Tomography scans help identify brain trauma that may not be visible on CT scans and MRIs. These scans help determine the extent and spread of a disease such as cancer in the body.

Attorneys May Find Medical Review Services Useful

As a provider of medical record review for personal injury law firms, we understand that the attorney must have a clear understanding of the imaging techniques used, what the images represent, and how these can be presented before the court in a convincing manner. Typically, the medical case summaries we provide make these aspects clear for the attorney and save the legal team hours of work that would have been spent on medical research and study. Without the assistance of medically qualified experts, an attorney may find it difficult to comprehend the various findings included in the images. Sometimes, attorneys retain medical experts who can explain the images and their findings to the judge and jurors. 

Medical images are thus very important in personal injury cases and act as hard proof of the alleged injury. Ideally, when using these medical images in litigation, they have to be of high quality and clear. They are much more forceful than a medical record in text format. When actual images of the injury are available, the plaintiff attorney can better negotiate the client’s personal injury settlement with another lawyer or with the insurance company. The attorney can successfully present to the court the actual condition and suffering of his/her client. Medical images are important to the defense counsel too, because they can have a clear understanding whether the injury is real or fabricated. Both plaintiff and defense attorneys can benefit from the services of a reliable medical chart review company when reviewing voluminous medical records, including medical images.

Discover our medical record review solutions and partner with us for your next case.

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