Why Normal CT Scans May Not Show Injuries from an Accident in Missouri & Kansas

Brain and spine injuries are unfortunately common after car accidents, slips and falls, and other accidents in Missouri and Kansas. However, these injuries are often missed because CT (computed tomography) scans are not accurate tests for soft tissue injuries. If injuries are ignored due to a normal CT scan, accident victims can develop long-term complications from untreated spine and brain injuries.

If you continue to experience symptoms of a brain injury or back/spine injury after an accident, you should seek immediate medical assistance. The longer you wait to receive medical treatment and seek legal advice, the more harmful it may be to your health and the easier it is for an insurance company to deny or reduce the value of your injury claim.

If you still experience pain after receiving a normal CT scan, you may feel helpless, but do not give up. It is essential that you receive the correct diagnosis to get the medical treatment you need after an accident. Our Kansas City personal injury attorney is here to help you receive the medical treatment and compensation you need as you recover from an injury.

If you have questions about your legal rights after an accident, call our office at 816-203-0143 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorney in Kansas City, Missouri. Our law firm handles personal injury cases for clients throughout Missouri and Kansas, including many who suffered head or back injuries and initially had normal CT scans.

Why Doesn’t My CT Scan Show a Brain Injury or Spine Injury?

medical technician reading CT scanCT scans are valuable diagnostic tools that can reveal fractures and broken bones. However, they do not always catch every injury after an accident. A CT scan takes x-ray images of different angles and combines them into a single picture. As a result, they provide more detailed information than an x-ray or ultrasound.

Some reasons why CT scans do not always correctly diagnose injuries include:

  • CT scans often miss injuries to soft tissues and other abnormalities. Therefore, a CT scan may appear normal, even though you have whiplash, brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries.
  • The scan was made using an older machine that does not have the newest technology.
  • You could experience delayed symptoms after an accident. A brain injury may not develop immediately after an accident. Nerve fiber damage and microscopic tears in the brain tissue might take a few days to show up on imagining scans.
  • The radiologist reading the results was inexperienced or negligent.
  • The physician did not request that contrast dye be used to highlight injuries or damage during the CT scan.

Errors and mistakes during a CT scan or when reading the films could result in a misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis. However, it could be that a CT scan was the incorrect diagnostic tool to use for your injury. In either situation, the result is your physician lacks the complete information needed to diagnose and treat your accident injury correctly.

Complications May Arise from an Incomplete Diagnosis After an Injury Accident

Without treatment, a brain injury and spinal cord injury can result in numerous complications and permanent disabilities. Potential consequences of a brain injury or spinal cord injury include, but are not limited to:

It is always wise to be evaluated for injuries after an accident, even if you feel “okay” or “fine” after the accident. Only a medical professional can correctly diagnose injuries and develop a treatment plan that can help reduce the risk of developing long-term impairments or conditions.

What Should I Do if I’m in Pain After an Accident But My CT Scan is Normal?

Do not accept a normal CT scan as evidence that you were not injured in an accident. See a specialist if you experience pain or have other concerning symptoms after a normal CT scan. Even if your CT scan is “normal”, you can still have been injured and require further testing or treatment.

Doctors can use a variety of tests to determine whether you sustained a traumatic brain injury or spine injury. A medical specialist may order an MRI or other diagnostic testing that reveals other injuries, such as soft tissues in your body. An MRI after an accident often gives a better picture of a spine injury than a CT scan or x-ray.

Specialists may use psychological and neuropsychological testing to detect a brain injury. They may also use advanced neuroimaging techniques to test for brain injuries, including magnetoencephalography (MEG), Diffusion Weight imaging (DWI), PET/SPECT, and MR spectroscopy.

Seeking Compensation for a Head, Neck or Back Injury After an Accident in Missouri & Kansas

Insurance companies often try to use normal CT scans to deny valid injury claims. They want to avoid paying the cost of treatment and other damages the accident victim incurs.

Claims involving head, neck or back injuries can involve significant damages because of the high cost of medical care and other damages. Accident victims often require surgery, rehabilitation therapies, nursing care, and personal care. They may also experience extensive loss of income while recovering from their injuries.

Under Missouri and Kansas law, accident victims are entitled to compensation for their economic losses (medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. If the person sustains a permanent impairment, future damages may be recoverable and be very significant in value.

Insurance companies search for ways to avoid paying claims. They look for any reason to dispute your injury claim, including using normal CT scans to argue the accident is not responsible for your current condition.

Our personal injury attorney helps accident victims throughout Missouri and Kansas. Our law firm understands how insurance companies work and how to help you get the money you deserve.

Contact Our Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

Call 816-203-0143 or complete our online contact form to request your free case evaluation today. Our personal injury attorney in Kansas City, Missouri is ready to assist and will explain your legal options for free and without any obligation.  We look forward to hearing from you.



Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury lawyer and long-term disability attorney in Kansas City, MO.