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Do you think she really has whiplash?

By Anonymous January 15, 2010 - 2:26am
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I bumped into another car at speeds so low that neither car jerked when I hit it. A woman was in the car and in the initial report she said her neck hurt. Not only was I not going fast and her car did not move, but I thought whiplash did not happen immediately. Do you think she could really have had it, or been lying? And how hard is it for a medical professional to tell if someone is lying about it or not?

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Dear Anon,

In my personal experience, I didn't start feeling any discomfort until later on the day of my accident. Unfortunately, whiplash is very common in accidents and there really is no way of telling if she is lying. I wouldn't lose sleep over this because you'll just stress yourself out even more. Do not communicate with her unless it is to ask her how she is feeling. Accusing someone of faking it can be very hurtful if they are not and can certainly push someone to file a claim even if they are not seriously injured.

My advice to you is to let it go, if what she is filing for is a soft-tissue case then there is nothing you can do to prove her wrong and chances are she won't be getting much out of the insurance anyway. Best of luck to you and it doesn't hurt to get yourself checked out as well, even if it was a minor accident.

January 16, 2010 - 6:45am
EmpowHER Guest

we dont know yet. the accident just happened yesterday. All I know is that she got out of the car right after and said her neck kinda hurt. lol. that in itself makes me feel she is faking, but she is japanese so I do not know if she will put in a claim or not. I hope she is nice about it because even if you do have whiplash, it goes away on its own and their is no need to be dramatic about it. I got hit by a person going about 120 and my whiplash only lasted a few days and i didnt get preseriptions or anything, so I dont get why people are so dramatic about it.

January 16, 2010 - 12:57am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome! I'm glad nobody was serious injured.

Empowher describes whiplash as something that "can occur with any sudden, violent, backward jerk of the head or neck."

Usual culprits are car accidents, sports injuries or a sudden fall.

If neither car even caused a jerk then it'd be pretty tough to get whiplash as the neck would have to be rather strongly jerked back and forth in order for whiplash to occur. A person doesn't normally complain of whiplash within minutes of the accident, although they certainly could have a neck injury from the accident that causes immediate pain. Whiplash pain tends to come on in the hours after the accident, or it can be felt upon waking the next day.

It's pretty easy to fake whiplash (people do it all the time in insurance scams) because it doesn't show up on a scan or x-ray. The symptoms include :

◦Stiff neck
◦Neck pain
◦Numbness or tingling
◦Shoulder pain and stiffness
◦Decreased range of neck motion
◦Muscle spasms
◦Pain, numbness, or tingling extending down an arm

If a person has read up on the kind of pain that's expected, they can fake it pretty well.

However, the person you are talking about may really have it. She will probably get a full physical and may need a neck brace.

Whether she really has it or is lying is not something we can tell you, of course. But you may have to give her the benefit of the doubt. Doctors can sometimes spot someone faking it but not always - people are pretty good and faking lot of things in medicine, I'm afraid! And certain doctors are better at giving a diagnosis than others as well as spotting a malingerer.

Is she suing your insurance company?

January 15, 2010 - 1:02pm
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