Following an accident or injury, your doctor may perform several diagnostic tests to identify your injuries and determine the extent of your injuries. An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a common way to diagnose injuries that cannot be diagnosed through physical examinations, X-rays, and other tests. An MRI provides a detailed, three-dimensional image of the body.

MRIs provide images of the body's non-bony parts (soft tissues). Therefore, MRIs can be critical for diagnosing injuries to the spinal cord, brain, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. In addition, since many diseases, conditions, and injuries are related to soft tissues, MRIs provide evidence that you were injured or you suffer from a medical condition. Strong, reliable medical evidence is essential if you want to win your personal injury case or long-term disability case.

Hiring our experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney is another way you can increase your chance of a positive outcome for your injury case. Handling a personal injury claim on your own can be challenging, especially when you are focused on your recovery. Furthermore, handling a claim without our attorney could result in a longer claims process and a lower settlement amount. At worst, it could result in no compensation at all.

If you have been injured or cannot work because of a disability, call the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation with our personal injury lawyer in Kansas City.

What Is the Difference Between a Contrast and Non-Contrast MRI?

MRI technition perfoming and reading an MRIMost MRIs are performed without contrast. Many injuries and medical conditions can be diagnosed without contrast because of the detail provided in an MRI. However, contrast may be necessary in some cases.

A contrast MRI uses a gadolinium-based dye given intravenously before the procedure. The dye improves and enhances the clarity and quality of the MRI images. Three reasons why a doctor might order a contrast MRI include:

  • To obtain a clearer and better quality image to diagnose injuries and conditions.
  • To avoid additional MRIs to clarify abnormalities because a contrast MRI provides a high-resolution image.
  • To detect very small tumors that could be missed with a non-contrast MRI.

Contrast MRIs are often used when a doctor suspects a patient sustained a traumatic brain injury and other head and neck injuries. Doctors may also order a contrast MRI in cases involving injuries to bone structure or cartilage, such as spinal fractures, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and spinal cord compression.

Typically, the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents is safe. However, because of the specific risks in using dye during an MRI, contrast MRIs are generally used for specific situations and conditions. A physician discusses the need for a contrast MRI with the patient, including the benefits and risks.

Should I Get a Contrast MRI if I’m Injured in an Accident in Missouri or Kansas?

The decision to perform a contrast MRI is generally up to the physician ordering the test. However, if you obtain the wrong type of MRI, the insurance company could use that against you.

Therefore, question your physician about the need for a contrast MRI. If the physician does not recommend a contrast MRI, ask the doctor for a specific explanation of why a non-contrast MRI would be better given the details of your condition.

How Does an MRI Impact a Personal Injury or Long-Term Disability Case?

An MRI is objective evidence of an injury or medical condition. It is difficult for an insurance company to argue with a picture of an injury. A patient cannot exaggerate or fabricate the results of an MRI. MRIs can be essential in cases involving soft tissue injuries, TBIs, and spinal disc injuries.

MRIs can reveal injuries and conditions that do not appear on CT scans, x-rays, or ultrasounds. Therefore, an MRI can prove that the pain and other symptoms reported by the patient stem from an actual injury or health condition. Without an MRI, the insurance company may argue that the patient is making up the symptoms to obtain a settlement.

An MRI can add to the overall value of a personal  injury case because it can help prove that the injury was caused by the accident. In addition, the result of an MRI can help prove the extent of your injury and whether the injury is permanent. If you sustain a permanent injury, you could receive compensation for future damages, including medical expenses, nursing care, lost wages, and personal care.

In addition to the MRI report from the radiologist, you should receive copies of the MRI films. Having the films allows you to obtain a second opinion from another radiologist or physician. When multiple medical professionals agree on the nature and cause of your injuries, it can strengthen your case.

Contact Our Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney for Help

Navigating the claims process can be overwhelming. We are here to help when you need legal advice and guidance regarding injury claims. At the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus, our legal team provides skilled and aggressive legal representation for our clients.


If you sustained an injury, reach out to our office by calling 816-203-0143 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our Kansas City personal injury lawyer.


Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury and disability lawyer in Kansas City, MO, and Overland Park, KS