An Arsenal of Medical and Engineering Studies to Prove Injury
For decades physicians believed that injury in rear-end auto accidents was caused by extension of the spine beyond its normal range of motion. Hyperextension did not explain low-speed injury, however, and insurers seized upon this anomaly to deny or lowball otherwise meritorious neck injury claims.
New medical research, based upon high-speed x-ray videotapes of spinal motion in simulated collisions, shows that compression and shear occurring 25 milliseconds prior to hyperextension can cause damage to facet joints … even in low-speed crashes.
Now you can use this study and others like it to obtain fair value for your whiplash claims. Medical Proof of Whiplash includes:
- Summaries of more than 400 medical and engineering studies that demonstrate the underlying causes of whiplash injuries and the serious and widespread damage that can result. Full citations and dates of studies are included.
- Scientifically-supported rebuttals to insurer claims that whiplash injuries heal within six weeks, whiplash injuries can be faked, patients are cured by a verdict, reconstructionists can accurately calculate G force, head restraints safeguard occupants, and low speed collisions are safe.
- A detailed explanation of low velocity whiplash biomechanics, complete with almost 100 citations to medical articles and studies.
- 61 illustrations that help explain anatomy and treatment.
- A factor and variable checklist that determines an accident's potential for injury with only 14 questions.
- A companion CD-ROM including a 26 slide, four-color, PowerPoint presentation for settlement brochures or courtroom exhibits and search software allowing you to search the entire text of the publication.
Whiplash remains an injury whose pain often does not correlate with objective radiological findings and so continues to be doubted. Whiplash scholar Michael Melton, who has been analyzing medical and engineering studies regarding the injury for over ten years, fights this skepticism with scientific knowledge. Michael Melton’s Medical Proof of Whiplash walks you through the anatomy of the cervical spine, the forces exerted on the spine in a rear-end auto accident, and the possibility of lasting injury. Medical Proof of Whiplash evaluates and summarizes nearly 400 hard to fiind studies that will convince even the most suspicious. The following are excerpts from a few of the recent studies included:
- "These are the first studies to subject cadavers to ‘minor’ collisions and then to carefully examine the bony and soft tissues for sign of injury. The findings were dramatic: injuries were found in 4 of 6 cadavers in the first study, and 4 of 5 in the second. Furthermore, many of these were injuries that would not be detected on normal X-rays or even CT scans. Most of the injuries in these test specimens were only detected upon autopsy." Page 11-14
- "43% of patients with cervical whiplash still had symptoms sufficiently severe to interfere with their ability to work two years after their injury." Page 11-84
- "Dizziness and vertigo are common symptoms of whiplash injuries. The goal of this current study was to see if there was a difference in balance between healthy subjects and patients with neck trauma. Whiplash patients had significantly reduced postural control functioning." Page 11-71
- "TMJ is a recognized symptom of whiplash injuries, but the belief that TMJ is mainly a psychological affliction is so pervasive that a New England Journal of Medicine article recommended counseling as the main treatment for TMJ. We found obvious TMJ intra-articular disorders (significant clicking, lock, TMJ synovitis) in 86%, or 258 of the 300 patients studied. This finding is difficult to ascribe to psychological or cultural factors." Page 11-163
- "Past research has shown that a sizable minority of those who experience physical trauma will develop psychological symptoms including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors of this work assessed 152 patients and found, ‘This research supports two main conclusions: first, that physical trauma need not be great to precipitate adverse psychological sequelae and, second, that even individuals who have stable backgrounds and who have high levels of life contentment before their trauma can develop acute psychological distress.’" Page 12-119
Diagnosis and treatment
- "One of the most frustrating aspects about whiplash is the lack of objective signs that the patient has been injured after a collision. A new study from the Netherlands may change this situation. Patients with Grade II whiplash-associated disorder were not able to relax the upper trapezius muscles to baseline levels." Page 11-134
- "Although little exists in the literature to recommend it, the standard treatment (rest, the use of a soft cervical collar, and gradual self-mobilization) is still commonly prescribed in cases of acute whiplash. A new Swedish study showed that active treatment was more effective than standard treatment in reduction of pain. The active treatment protocol was more effective when initiated early." Page 11-168
- "A turned head has consistently been reported in the literature as a risk factor for increased symptoms. A new study with cadavers from Duke University demonstrates that a pre-twist of the head and neck increases strain magnitude in the facet capsule." Page 11-15
- "This is the first study to look at the effect of a previous hyperextension injury on prognosis in a second whiplash injury. The researchers conducted a retrospective study of 79 patients who had suffered two whiplash injuries. Results showed that after the second injury, 84% of patients reported increased symptoms." Page 11-100
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety admitted, "The head restraints in most cars are inadequate, neither high enough nor close enough to many people’s heads to prevent whiplash injuries or associated neck disorders in crashes." Page 11-8
- "Significantly, the data shows that the peak of shear in the vertebral segments occurs before the head hits the head restraint." Page 11-12
- Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada studied the medical claims of 7,462 Saskatchewan residents before and after a no-fault insurance system was implemented. The study concluded, "claimants recover faster if compensation for pain and suffering is not available." The serious problems with the study are exposed, including (1) insurance funding, (2) resignation and suit by a researcher, and (3) contradictory results in a second study conducted by the same researchers. Page 11-86
- "This is a very common scenario in low speed crashes: a patient is injured, the car shows little or no vehicle damage, and the defense expert testifies that, based on his calculations, the acceleration that the occupant experienced during the crash was minor and that injury was impossible. The expert’s testimony may be very impressive to a jury, since his or her report seems to be authoritative and accurate – ‘the occupant did not experience an acceleration greater than 3.12Gs.’ The truth is that these numbers are not accurate – in fact they are pulled out of thin air…." Page 11-49
With this heavily-supported medical and scientific proof of whiplash--along with several forms, illustrations and a slideshow--you will be armed to overcome insurer suspicion and juror skepticism.
The above slide and images are samples of those found in the PowerPoint presentation available on the accompanying CD-ROM.