What Is A CAT Scan and How Are They Used In Florida Personal Injury Cases?

What Exactly Is A CAT Scan?  

Written by West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer, Roger P. Foley

Testing in Cat scan machine

A CAT scan, also referred to as computed tomography (CT) is a technique wherein they use x-rays to create detailed cross sectional images of the body. CT scans can be used to diagnose many medical conditions including but not limited to: cancer, heart disease, and other internal injuries. Additionally, they can also be used to guide surgeons when removing tissue for biopsy purposes.  They can also be used to monitor whether specific treatments are effective in fighting disease.    

By passing a series of x-ray beams through the body using a special detector, the doctor acquires 2D images of the patient’s body from various angles. These images are then processed into a 3D model image to display the body’s internal makeup. The procedure can last between 15-30 minutes and while it can be uncomfortable if suffering with injuries, it should be painless.  

The CT scan itself is carried out with the use of a CT scanner, a large machine with a cylindrical structure in which the patient lies on a table inside. This machine is what creates the x-ray beams that rotate through the body.

To prevent interference with the scan, a patient will be asked to remove most of their clothing in exchange for a medical gown. No jewelry, or any other metal items can be worn in the machine. 

A contrast material fluid (dye) may need to be ingested or administered intravenously by the patient in order to highlight certain internal structures and gain a distinct image of them. The contrast material fluid, while not harmful, may produce some side effects such as: warm or flushed feeling, metallic taste, or headache. These symptoms are generally considered temporary and typically subside within a couple of hours. 

When beginning the scan, a patient will be instructed to lie down on the table and remain as still as possible. If the body part is in a hard to reach area, the table will be positioned to create the best image of the scan. The CT scanner machine itself produces many high volume noises, so to make the patient feel more comfortable, they may be given noise canceling headphones or the option to listen to music.

A radiologist, a doctor who interprets medical images, receives the resulting model image of the CT scan. The radiologist analyzes the image and sends a report reviewing their findings to the patients healthcare provider who then shares the results with the patients. 

CT scans produce more intricate images of the internal structures that x-rays cannot, this is why they are used in the place of x-rays to detect smaller issues within the body. Additionally, CT scans are quicker and more efficient than other methods of internal imaging such as x-rays, ultrasounds, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI.) 

While CT scans are some of the most common medical techniques used in modern medicine, the x-ray beams have the possibility of introducing ionizing radiation to the patient, which can enlarge the risk of cancer. These risks are possible and dangerous, but the efficiency and satisfaction of the CT scan can properly diagnose patients with serious conditions that would have further harmed them without the treatment. 

Overall, the use of CT scans x-ray medical imaging is widely used to diagnose numerous diseases and conditions in the patients and to guide medical procedures. The CT scanner produces the scan which is then turned into an image that is interpreted by a radiologist and forwarded to the patient’s main healthcare provider. CT scans are generally acknowledged as a safe method of medical treatment with limited risks. 

How Are CAT Scans Helpful In Florida Personal Injury Cases? 


In personal injury cases such as a car accident, slip and fall, or other traumatic event, CT scans can be utilized as a vital piece of evidence. The scans can show injuries such as fractures, soft tissue damage, or internal bleeding that could not be seen on other imaging techniques. Additionally, regular checkups inside of the CT scanner assess the healing and success of treatments given by healthcare providers. 

CT scan imaging is often used to provide undeniable evidence towards the assessment of injuries in legal proceedings, as they could be used to establish a cause of the injury, how it can affect the ability to do normal activities, or what kind of recovery and/or therapy could be needed in treatment. 

To counteract wrong or exaggerated claims of injury, the CT scans show the true injuries inside of the body. If the scan does not exhibit injuries to the magnitude of the complainant statements, it can be used to discredit the party’s claim. 

It is important for residents of the state of Florida to keep diligent copies of all medical documents which show a record of all medical procedures, treatments, and conditions because they can be used as evidence in court to support their argument and secure the compensation due. Anyone dealing with personal injury litigation, should keep a copy of all medical records, so that they may be shared with their personal injury attorney. These records will assist in the case. 

In short, CT scans bring indisputable evidence in the legal process, either for or against your case. They play a crucial role in personal injury cases as they show the cause of injury, the nature of how it happened, the severity of the injury inside of a patient’s body, and the improvements/healing of said injury. CT scans can aid in gaining the proper compensation for the negligence of others in personal injury cases. 

*If you or a loved one, needs legal assistance in Florida, “Just Call Me” Roger P Foley






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