Difficulty of Proving Whiplash

By Josh Silverman on August 21, 2013

Let's face it, when people hear the term whiplash, eyes start to roll and images of malingerers with soft neck collars put on for show come to mind.  Unfortunately, there are people who fake and exaggerate their injuries which makes it much more challenging to represent legitimate victims.  There have been times when I've declined cases because I had a strong feeling that the potential client was exaggerating.  Fortunately there is a scientific basis for doctors to diagnose and treating whiplash.  Here is a link to an American Bar Association publication on whiplash that addresses the five grades of severity of whiplash. 

Grade 0 No neck pain, no physical signs
Grade 1 Neck pain, stiffness, tenderness; no physical signs
Grade 2 Neck pain with musculoskeletal signs (restricted range of motion, localized tenderness)
Grade 3 Neck pain with neurologic signs/symptoms (weakness, tingling, reflex changes)
Grade 4 Neck pain with vertebral fracture or dislocation

Verdicts from Virginia personal injury cases involving whiplash have a very wide range from $0 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Factors that determine the outcome are the severity of the impact in the automobile accident, whether the victim sought prompt medical treatment, whether the victim had preexisting neck problems, and the quality of the victim's legal representation. 

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me at (804) 325-4992.

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