If you have been injured in a Kansas City motor vehicle crash, you may need an x-ray. An x-ray machine uses radiation to provide an image of the bones or other structures inside the body. This type of radiation is potentially dangerous; however, when used appropriately, the benefits of x-rays outweigh the risks. The information from a diagnostic x-ray may even save your life.

X-rays refer to radiation, particles that travel in a wavelike manner through the air. Other common types of radiation include light and radio waves. Just like radio waves, x-rays have enough energy to travel through solid objects. When x-rays travel through your body, dense objects like your bones absorb more of the radiation than less dense objects like your skin, muscles, and clothing. This means that fewer x-rays travel through dense objects. As the radiation passes through the body, it leaves an image on an x-ray detector. X-ray technicians and physicians read these images to diagnose injuries and illnesses.

Each year, about 70 percent of Americans receive a medical or dental x-ray. In most cases, the x-ray does minimal harm and provides important diagnostic information. However, x-rays may slightly increase a person's risk of contracting cancer later in life. The risk of cancer depends on the amount of radiation a person is exposed to, the age at exposure, and the sex of the person exposed.

  • The lifetime risk of cancer increases with amount of radiation used.
  • The lifetime risk of cancer increases with every x-ray exam.
  • The lifetime risk of cancer is larger for young patients than for older patients.
  • Women have a slightly greater lifetime risk than men for developing radiation-associated cancer.
  • If the sex organs are exposed to x-rays, the radiation can cause damage to the reproductive cells. Proper precautions should be taken to minimize these risks.


If you were injured in a car crash in Kansas City, it is important that you allow your doctor to perform the tests necessary to diagnose your injuries. In this case, an x-ray may save your life or prevent future disability. You may, however, want to take the following precautions.

  • Ask your doctor why you need the x-ray? It should help the doctor diagnose your injury and create your treatment plan. Never refuse an x-ray that is medically necessary.
  • Don't ask for an x-ray. Unnecessary x-rays increase your risk of injury.
  • Tell the doctor if you are pregnant or might be pregnant. If the doctor doesn't take proper precautions, there is a small chance of harm to your growing baby. If your doctor knows, he can protect your unborn child from the radiation.
  • If you need an x-ray of your lower back or abdomen, ask the x-ray technician if you can use a gonad shield. This will protect your reproductive cells from the radiation. For some injuries, the shield may obscure the view needed for the x-ray.
  • Keep a record of all your x-rays. Write down the body part that was x-rayed, the date, where the x-ray was done, and which doctor ordered the test. Take this card to your medical appointments. The doctor may be able to use a previous x-ray instead of ordering a new one. He may also be able to order your old x-rays for comparison. You may also want to share this card with your Kansas City auto accident lawyer. Your x-rays may provide important evidence to support your Missouri accident injury claim.

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.