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What Diagnostic Scans Should I Get Immediately After an Accident?

Car accidents, even minor ones, can have a substantial impact on your physical well-being. In the moments and days following an accident, it’s crucial to understand the kinds of diagnostic scans that can help identify injuries you may not even realize you’ve sustained. Here’s a look at the essential scans you should consider immediately after a car accident.


X-rays are often the first line of imaging used to diagnose injuries after a car accident. They are particularly useful for detecting fractures, dislocations, and spine alignment issues. Since many car accident injuries affect the bones, an X-ray can be a quick way to identify any critical problems that need to be addressed immediately.

CT Scans

Computed Tomography (CT) scans are more detailed than X-rays and can give a better picture of bone and soft tissue injuries. They are particularly useful for diagnosing complex fractures, internal bleeding, and organ damage. A CT scan can also help to quickly assess injuries to the chest, abdomen, pelvis, and spine, which are areas commonly affected in car accidents.

MRI Scans

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans are invaluable when it comes to diagnosing soft tissue injuries, which are not always apparent on X-rays or CT scans. These injuries include ligament tears, muscle strains, and damage to tendons. MRI scans are also used for detecting brain injuries, such as concussions, that can occur during car accidents.


This imaging technique is non-invasive and uses sound waves to visualize soft tissue structures within the body, including muscles, tendons, and internal organs. Ultrasound is particularly good for assessing abdominal trauma or injuries in real-time and can be critical in emergency situations following a car accident.


In cases where a car accident victim has suffered a blunt chest trauma, an echocardiogram might be used to assess heart function. This type of ultrasound imaging can help diagnose cardiac contusions or other heart-related injuries that might not be apparent immediately after an accident.

PET Scans

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans are less commonly used immediately after a car accident but can be employed to assess for long-term effects such as brain function in the weeks following a severe injury.

Prioritize Your Health with the Right Diagnostics—Don’t Delay, Schedule Your Scan Today

After a car accident, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately to determine the extent of your injuries and to start the appropriate treatment. At Impact Medical Group of St. Petersburg, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of car accident injuries. Our caring medical team is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to ensure that no injury goes undetected and that you receive the comprehensive care you need for a full recovery.

If you’ve been in a car accident, don’t wait for the symptoms to tell you something’s wrong. Contact us today at (727) 722-8103. Our experienced team is ready to support your healing journey with personalized care and the attention you deserve. Your full recovery is our mission, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.