Whiplash and insurance

One of the most difficult and complex areas of insurance companies is the personal injury department. They are not only concerned with awarding or rejecting claims for damages, but are also experts in the field of psychology, law, finance, medical aspects and social problems. Various parts of Dutch law come together in personal injury insurance. If you have suffered a whiplash injury, a personal injury specialist can provide help.

What is whiplash?

People who have suffered whiplash injuries , wherever they are, all show 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.

Personal injury

Personal injury is the damage that a person sustains in a certain situation, often an accident . In some cases you may be eligible for compensation for, among other things, medical costs incurred and to somewhat alleviate personal suffering. This is requested with a damage claim .

Damage limitation obligation

It can only be assessed whether someone is entitled to compensation and calculate the amount of this compensation if someone cooperates in all possible treatment, including rehabilitation and reintegration programs. This is called the so-called damage limitation obligation . However, if someone refuses to cooperate in such processes, it is not possible to determine any damage and limitations of the person and therefore impossible to determine the possible compensation.

Whiplash: costs and charges

that around 30% of the claims are paid out for wiplash cases. However, this compensation is not fully paid out to the victim . A significant part of this compensation goes to social insurers, health insurers and the employer. According to a latest estimate, the total costs of all whiplash patients would be around 1 billion euros per year.

Fraud surrounding compensation

Unfortunately, insurers are also regularly confronted with fraudulent practices. It is very difficult to distinguish between actual cases of whiplash and people who use whiplash as an excuse for other problems they are dealing with. There are also several cases of people who already had neck complaints before the accident and subsequently attributed these to the accident. This is of course very difficult to verify. Insurers are therefore extra alert to people who show a serious pattern of complaints in combination with a relatively minor collision . Care is also taken in people who only develop complaints after a long time or where the complaints coincide with problems in other areas of life. In most cases it is also about whether someone’s complaints are the result of an accident or not.

Improvement points for insurers

What seems to be a crucial factor in recovering from whiplash and the frequency and intensity of whiplash complaints appears to be information . Not only to the population, by pointing out that 70% of people with whiplash recover completely, but also in the initial phase in which only the GP has contact with the patient. The GP’s approach to the patient’s complaints appears to be of great importance. The GP should also emphasize recovery , and not compensation .

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