Studies regarding whiplash and whiplash injury broadly fall in to two camps – car accident research and physical injury research.
The study of car accidents and car accident testing largely aims to improve vehicle safety and prevent injuries from road traffic accidents. Over the years, crash tests have proved that properly adjusted head restraints are fundamental in reducing the effects of whiplash.
For information about crash testing and whiplash prevention, Thatcham Research has produced a detailed PDF: Whiplash - Causation and Countermeasure.
Many health professionals agree that whiplash is hard to diagnose and, in certain cases, it has been suggested that many car accident victims make up their injuries purely so they can make a claim for compensation.
However, studies carried out in the name of car accident research have plainly revealed the toll that even a low speed impact can have on a human body and this is why medical practitioners must take the whiplash phenomenon seriously.
The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (USA), the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health (USA) have published, via the Pain Research and Management journal, a whiplash injury study entitled "Chronic neck pain and whiplash: A case-control study of the relationship between acute whiplash injuries and chronic neck pain". It concludes that injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents contribute significantly to the number of people in the US who suffer from chronic spine pain. The authors felt their study helped to clarify several ambiguities regarding whiplash and could lead to a better understanding of the epidemiology of the condition. The researchers concluded that more research is required.
In an article published in 2002 in the British Columbia Medical Journal, Gunter P Siegmund, PHD, PEng discussed "The biomechanics of whiplash injury". Dr Siegmund concluded that whiplash injury has proved to be a difficult injury to study because of the general poor understanding of its pathoanatomy (nature of the injury - its causes, processes, development, and consequences). He states that while facet joints have now been identified as a site of chronic pain for many whiplash injury patients, and kinematic and kinetic response data has been collected regarding a possible mechanical explanation for whiplash injury, more testing is required to better understand the etiology (set of causes or manner of causation) of whiplash injury so that better medical care can be provided.
What medical researchers agree upon
Many doctors and healthcare professionals agree that whiplash injury requires more research before we can fully understand why a seemingly minor injury type can cause long term chronic pain in some accident victims.
What we are sure of, as personal injury solicitors, is that if you have been injured in a car accident and are suffering from pain and loss of income through no fault of your own then you are entitled to make a claim for whiplash injury compensation.
And to find out how much compensation you might receive, please click here.