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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
Attorney • (808) 845-2211

Whiplash and Headaches – The Most Common Personal Injury In Automobile Accident Cases in Hawaii

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In the 1950s the medical profession did not recognize whiplash as a medical condition. It was through attorneys seeking explanations of injuries from treating doctors that stimulated medical insight into the most common result of automobile accidents. The insurance industry has spent millions of dollars to prevent persons injured with whiplash from being compensated for their pain:

It appears that the Canadian health system has close links to the American insurance companies. In years past the American insurance companies did not recognize whiplash and its attendant disabling pain. Rather they banded together to create the concept of M.I.S.T. (Minor Injury Soft Tissue Injury). The concept held that whiplash was a psychosocial phenomenon. We all knew better and Centeno et al after reviewing the literature to date found a significant number of studies which refute the MIST concept. The authors concluded that a review of the literature did not support the validity of MIST.

At the Centeno-Schultz Clinicwe acknowledge the disabling pain and suffering that accompanies whiplash injuries. We understand that when an injury as illustrated below occurs, it is not a psychosocial phenomenon. This type of trauma is referred to as a cervical acceleration-deceleration injury.

There are many structures that can be injured including ligaments, muscles, cervical discs and cervical facets. We treat a large number of Canadians for whiplash with great success. Our ability to do so originates in knowing that this is a REAL injury with REAL pain.

One of the main medical problems that comes with a whiplash injury are headaches. The insurance industry and their well paid attorneys try to blame the headaches on other things and of course many things cause headaches. In cases which go to court the insurance industry uses doctors who make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year testifying against whiplash victims to testify that some other medical condition is causing the headaches. These doctors are usually referred to as "hired guns" or less polite names because they are captive witnesses for Big Insurance and they profit by distorting the truth in court cases against injured people.

New research about the connection of whiplash and headaches is now making the connection more solid. In the peer reviewed study – Incidence and predictors of chronic headache attributed to whiplash injury © published in the prestigious medical journal Cephalgia, by M Obermann, K Nebel, A Riegel, D Thiemann, M-S Yoon, M Keidel, P Stude, HC Diener & Z Katsarava from the Department of Neurology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen and Department of Neurology and Neurological Rehabilitation, Bezirkskrankenhaus Bayreuth, Germany (send correspondence to Mark Obermann MD, Department of Neurology, University of Duisburg-Essen ( e-mail mark.obermann@uni-due.de ). The new study is ex[plained as follows:

We identified clinical, demographic and psychological predictive factors that may contribute to the development of chronic headache associated with mild to moderate whiplash injury [Quebec Task Force (QTF) ≤ II] and determined the incidence of this chronic pain state. Patients were recruited prospectively from six participating accident and emergency departments. While 4.6% of patients developed chronic headache attributed to whiplash injury according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edn criteria, 15.2% of patients complained about headache lasting > 42 days (QTF criteria). Predictive factors were pre-existing facial pain [odds ratio (OR) 9.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1, 10.4; P = 0.017], lack of confidence to recover completely (OR 5.5, 95% CI 2.0, 13.2; P = 0.005), sore throat (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.5, 8.9; P = 0.013), medication overuse (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.4, 12.3; P = 0.009), high Neck Disability Index (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.3, 12.6; P = 0.019), hopelessness/anxiety (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.3, 8.7; P = 0.024), and depression (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.2, 9.4; P = 0.024). The lack of a control group limits the conclusions that can be drawn from this study. Identified predictors closely resemble those found in chronic primary headache disorders.

The whiplash injury has been one constantly distorted by the junk science that the insurance industry proliferates to save money and deny claims. Research like this from Europe is difficult and the conditions are complex. I must comment that the abuse of injured people by insurance adjusters, high paid attorneys for the big insurance industry and the hoard of hired gun doctors getting rich writing false medical reports certainly came to mind when I saw that hopelessness, depression and lack of confidence to recover were associated with bad results in this study. Most automobile accident whiplash cases in Hawaii and my hometown of Honolulu have to fight for years just to get treatment because of a pattern and practice of roadblocks by the insurance company. And since Governor Lingle took office the Insurance Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has been taken over by insurance industry insiders or sympathizers so there is no place to get a fair hearing. The only hope for a person who suffers a whiplash injury in an automobile collision is to get before a jury in court because that is the first and only chance to get an unbiased listener. Thanks to jury trials and the right to trial by jury, the big insurance industry must eventually do the right thing.