Visitor Question

Is the doctor liable for not ordering an MRI for 20 months?

Submitted By: David (Nashville, TN)

On July 10, 2009 I had an auto accident with an 18 wheeler in Nashville TN. I had to go to the ER. The hospital did a CT scan on my head because I had a knot on my skull. The ER report said I needed an MRI because the CT scan showed some problems in my C6-C7.

My doctor sent me to a pain management doctor on Sept 3, 2009. Every time I went there I got no relief. The meds didn’t work with me. I got tired from the pain, the doctor and everything. They never did an MRI.

The doctor finally discharged me on May 5, 2011 because I missed an appointment for the disc-gram on my back. I canceled the appointment due to an allergic reaction to morphine. I got very scared. On Oct 17, 2011 the Neurosurgeon found two ruptured discs in my neck that the ER report mentioned on the day of the accident.

My left hand got paralyzed on the day of the surgery. I had to do the surgery on my C6-C7 on Nov 2, 2011. The doctor said my nerve was 95% cut off. I found out a few days ago that my pain management doctor had the ER report and many other reports but they never ordered an MRI for my C6-C7.

Do I have malpractice case for the doctors not ordering an MRI for more than 20 months?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear David,

Your case is complicated. The fact scenario is multi-faceted. Your first action should be to collect copies of all your medical records, medical bills, receipts for prescriptions, and results of all of your examinations and tests. Your next action should be to visit with an experienced personal injury attorney with experience in medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases should always be handled by experienced attorneys.

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge any fee for initial office consultations. Take all your medical records, medical bills, etc. with you when you visit with these attorneys. Make appointments with several. It’s important to feel comfortable with the attorney who will be representing you.

Make sure you have the names and contact information of all the doctors who treated you. Your attorney will need as much information as you can provide. In the meantime you have a duty to mitigate your damages. That means you must seek additional medical care necessary to treat your injuries.

Learn more here: Recourse for Medical Treatment Denial

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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