The best evidence in any personal injury case is “objective”. A classic example of objective evidence is an x-ray. An x-ray showing a break is very strong evidence of injury. But a “normal” x-ray does not rule out injury, only a broken bone. Negative x-rays leave open the possibility of ligament, facet, cartilage muscle and other soft tissue. Defense lawyers tend to dismiss soft tissue injuries, but the reality is soft tissue injury can be very serious and often painful.
Computerized tomography (CT or CAT Scan) produce a better, more specific image through slice pictures of tissue. CT scans can identify bleeding, clotting and traumatic injury. Still, CT scans also cannot rule out certain injuries. For example, lesions less than 1 to 1.5 centimeters generally do not show up on a CT Scan. Small lesions can be serious, especially where brain injury is involved.
MRI show even greater detail than CT Scans. The MRI is best suited to revealing Ligament injury, spinal cord injury disc herniation and some soft tissue injuries. MRI scans also have limitations and cannot show damage on the cellular level of tissue smaller than 1.5mm. As a consequence, many people suffering from mild traumatic brain injury will have normal MRIs.
In recent years, a new special MRI known as an fMRI is being used to ferret out tiny metabolic changes in blood during brain functioning. Micro images generated by the fMRI allow analysis of brain functioning in real time to assess the effect of trauma with, of course, its own limitations.