Whiplash and the WAO medical examiner

The medical examiner or insurance doctor is one of the most feared doctors in the whiplash world. After the company doctor, they are the ones who can make the final decision about your complaints and fitness for work. The medical examiner usually only comes into the picture at a later stage, when the company doctor can no longer do much for you. The medical examiner determines on the basis of a medical examination whether you are entitled to a (supplementary) WAO benefit or WIA benefit or not.

What is whiplash?

People who have suffered whiplash, wherever they are, all have the same similarity : the head and neck have made a strong swinging movement relative to the torso and each other. Doctors officially call whiplash a cervical acceleration-deceleration injury . Whiplash can be caused by a rear-end collision with the car, but side collisions and accidents during sports, for example, can also be possible causes. The classic definition of whiplash states that the injury may only be called a whiplash if the neck has not collided with anything , in order to be able to make a clear distinction with a concussion , among other things.

Post whiplash syndrome

Medical examiners seem to prefer the term ” post whiplash syndrome “. Medically speaking, it is difficult to diagnose whiplash objectively . However, the associated typical personal characteristics are easier to identify. According to many medical examiners, whiplash patients are often hard-working women with an active problem-solving strategy. However, these change after whiplash into more withdrawn and passive problem solvers. Whiplash is often compared to another condition that is related in some respects, namely ME . This is also a condition without objective medical evidence. And this condition is also common among hard-working women who, due to their condition, can no longer match their previous performance level.


On average, a medical examiner encounters approximately 10% of his patients with whiplash complaints. Medical examiners indicate that they are less comfortable examining someone with such complaints, because these people often seem to be more forceful , as a defense mechanism against the skepticism with which they are often approached from all sides. Medical examiners are also no exception.

What does the medical examiner do?

The medical examiner determines whether someone is entitled to a (supplementary) WAO benefit . The medical examiner therefore only sees a patient at the last place, usually at the end of a failed reintegration process . Unfortunately, there are currently no clear guidelines on the basis of which the medical examiner must make his or her judgment. It is therefore usually examined to what extent the patient’s story is logical and consistent, whether there is demonstrable medical injury that makes it likely that the work will worsen the complaints and whether the chance of recovery from whiplash is increased if one does not work.

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