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Does An MRI Increase a Personal Injury Settlement in Sacramento?

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Does An MRI Increase a Personal Injury Settlement?
By Ashley Amerio

A personal injury case arises when someone experiences an injury or an accident due to negligence or malpractice. Depending on the nature of the claim, the responsible party is then liable to pay a compensatory amount to the injured party to compensate for the damages and cover medical expenses. 

The affected party can formalize the lawsuit by hiring a personal injury attorney to help them get the compensation they deserve by accurately representing all the facts in court. However, not all cases go to court; some are resolved through informal out-of-court settlements.

The life of a personal injury lawsuit depends on the severity of the injury and the damage suffered by the injured party. While straightforward cases may take a few weeks or months to resolve, complex cases can even last a couple of years. 

If the injury is severe, personal injury lawyers often recommend waiting until the person has recovered before claiming damages. Doing so helps determine the exact compensatory amount to be paid by the responsible party. Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to file a lawsuit immediately after the accident to claim damages. The period differs for different states, but it is typically two years. 

Determining the exact amount of a personal injury settlement is a complex procedure, as several factors are involved. There is no formula for calculating the settlement amount. So, personal injury lawyers focus on understanding the factors impacting the value of the personal injury case. Understanding these factors can also help them navigate client expectations and help them negotiate better. 

If you are wondering whether an MRI can increase a personal injury settlement, keep reading to find out! This article will also cover other factors that affect the value of your personal injury settlement. 

Does An MRI Increase a Personal Injury Settlement in Sacramento?

A straightforward answer to the question “does an MRI increase a personal injury settlement in Sacramento?” is, yes, it does! When a person receives an injury due to someone’s negligence, the doctor may recommend getting an MRI done for further examination of the injuries. 

An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is not the same as other imaging scans or tests like ultrasound, CT scan, or an X-ray. This test obtains detailed imagery of the injured person’s body structures and organs and employs a radio wave energy and a magnetic field. MRI allows the doctors to see if any internal soft tissues have been damaged. One of the most common soft tissue injuries includes bulging disks that often occur in car accidents. 

Compared to X-rays and CT scans, an MRI can help determine issues that are not visible in these tests. An MRI provides and documents hard proof of the injury suffered. Having detailed images of the damage can help your lawyers negotiate a better deal on your behalf. Moreover, images are much more compelling than a doctor writing the issue on your medical report.

Furthermore, an MRI can also help you determine the exact recovery time and the treatment you will require while recovering. 

However, you should know that getting an MRI is unnecessary if your doctor or physician is optimistic and has a reasonable belief that the injury does not merit an MRI. 

MRIs provide a clear picture of your injury to the doctor, allowing them to estimate recovery time and expected medical bills. MRI results may increase the value of your personal injury law claim. Getting an MRI done unnecessarily can add to your case expenses you may not receive a reimbursement for that amount.

However, remember that an MRI may only sometimes mean that you will get a more significant settlement, as the value of the settlement depends on several other factors we will discuss in detail later in this article. 

After an incident, the injured party should only use time contacting the insurance company to find out they will only pay for the MRI after getting it done. Also, provide the liability claim adjuster with a statement, as it is optional. 

Moreover, suppose an MRI shows a serious acute brain injury or severe internal damage. In that case, it may increase the case’s value as these damages may have a long-term impact on the affected party’s life. 

If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), you can expect your MRI cost to be covered. PIP offers insurance coverage by reimbursing medical bills up to the policy limit. It is irrespective of who is at fault. 

Insurance companies have medical professionals on board, including radiologists and legal experts. When you get an MRI done, the report you submit is analyzed by the insurance company’s doctor. Since the doctor is legally and ethically bound to make a fair assessment, you don’t have to worry about them favoring the insurance company they work for. If a personal injury lawyer feels that the facts have been misrepresented, they can hold the insurance company’s radiologist responsible. 

Suppose the MRI report shows a herniated disc or a tear. In that case, the liable insurance company’s doctor will likely agree with the report without challenging it. Therefore, an MRI can have a significant impact on the components of your case. 

We highly recommend getting an MRI done after an accident. Rather than guessing what the problem is and assuming you can cure it with physical therapy, it is best to know precisely what is wrong. Not getting an MRI done, especially after your doctor has recommended it, may hurt your case. 

Other Factors Affecting the Value of a Personal Injury Settlement

Besides an MRI report, here are some other factors that affect the value of a personal injury settlement:

1. Treatment Required and Expected Recovery Period 

When the victim requires extensive post-injury care, there will typically be more significant personal injury compensation. The compensation amount may include the medical expenses of hospital admission, undergoing necessary physical therapy and rehabilitation, follow-up doctor’s appointments, and more. Moreover, it may also include reconstructive procedures that require a high degree of care. 

Moreover, the nature of the injury and the length of the affected party’s rehabilitation also affects the compensation they get. Generally, the longer the patient’s recovery, the more considerable the compensatory amount. 

2. Nature and Severity of the Injury

The severity of the injuries is also a deciding element in determining compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Usually, a plaintiff will obtain a higher settlement if their damage is more serious. Severe injuries like brain trauma, spinal cord injury, dislocation of bones, etc., result in the affected party receiving a higher settlement. 

3. Mental and Emotional Stress

Accidental injuries can cause far more pain and suffering than only physical ones. Anxiety, stress, despair, and even post-traumatic stress disorder are emotional and psychological traumas that accident victims might endure. 

A victim’s life might sometimes be severely disrupted by their injuries, causing them emotional and mental stress. It may also affect their capacity to carry out daily tasks like home duties and their ability to work and make a living to support their family. 

When calculating the value of a personal injury settlement, it will be considered whether the injury disrupts the victim’s life. The total amount of the compensation may be significantly affected if an accident victim. Their attorney can demonstrate they have suffered severe emotional and psychological damage due to their injuries.

4. Litigation Costs 

Litigation costs are much higher when there are several defendants and technical issues. In some situations, the defendant could agree to an enormous settlement sum. However, the defense side may lower the settlement amount if the plaintiff can’t afford to pay for such a complicated case. 

5. The Liability of the Defendant

Suppose there is evidence that the defendant is indisputably responsible for the harm. In that case, the settlement sum is likely to be significant. Personal injury lawyers work hard to gather credible witnesses and relevant evidence to build a strong case for their clients. The injured party does not have to provide proof in a state with no-fault insurance. 

They have to negotiate with their insurance provider to resolve the damage claim under their PIP (Personal Injury Protection) policy. Moreover, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the defendant’s liability if a claim is made against the defendant’s insurance provider. In this situation, it must be proved that the affected party was harmed due to the defendant’s negligence. Furthermore, it also needs to be established that the defendant acted negligently by making a mistake or failing to take reasonable precautions in the same situation. 

Is an MRI Useful in Personal Injury Law?

An MRI is functional when the damages from an accident are apparent from the MRI scan pictures, such as a soft tissue injury. For instance, brain damage due to a vehicle accident detected on an MRI might raise the case’s settlement value.

An MRI can also identify problems you might not be aware of since their symptoms might not show up for a few days. For instance, you could report a hand injury following an accident. Still, an MRI may reveal that you also suffered a back injury.

Once you sign the settlement agreement, you won’t be allowed to submit a claim for a spinal injury if you have initially only filed for a hand injury.

Injured parties in numerous auto accidents frequently wait for their insurance companies to suggest an MRI exam. However, delaying medical care won’t be beneficial for you. By postponing a medical evaluation, you allow the opposing insurance company to claim that the delay in treatment caused the injuries rather than the incident, which would lower the amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Doctors can also use MRI reports that reveal accident-related injuries to create a treatment plan for the patient. These records support your personal injury claim and can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Looking to File a Personal Injury Claim? We are Here to Help! 

If you require any assistance with your personal injury law claim or test results, we are here to help. In today’s circumstances, legal assistance is essential. Filing a personal injury claim can be complex and involves a lot of paperwork. Therefore, we recommend hiring a professional and skilled personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the process. 

A competent and experienced lawyer will help you provide you with the proper guidance and aid you in getting the largest possible settlement amount for your claim. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in Sacramento, California, who is well-informed, skilled, and experienced, call Ashley Injury Lawyers immediately! We will provide you with the direction you need to succeed in court.

We have assisted several individuals in personal injury claims and are familiar with the entire procedure. Our lawyers can advise you on the best course of action to get the compensation you deserve, as they have years of expertise in the field. 

Our attorneys are caring and sensitive towards the clients, and they offer to meet them at home for an initial consultation. Additionally, our legal professionals do a great job developing strategies and compiling the necessary proof to help you get justice. 

To arrange a free consultation or initial session to go through your case, contact us at 916-419-1111. For your assistance, we also provide 24/7 customer support. 

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