Whiplash a scam by patients, say doctors
Nearly nine in ten doctors believe most of their patients exaggerate whiplash symptoms to increase insurance claims.
D’you think so? I wonder why they might do that.
Doctors surveyed over the summer said they thought many patients who go to them with neck sprain injuries as a result of a car accident are fraudulent.
When there’s a sprain, there’s a claim.
The survey, by car insurer AXA, found that doctors had seen a substantial increase in whiplash patients in the last five years.
Most felt the government should crack down on the practice and find a more rigorous way of assessing injuries to control insurance claims by drivers.
How about getting the suspected patient to take part in a test – Jeremy Beadle style – to see how bad their neck injury really is?
What if, when sat in the chair opposite the doctor’s desk during the consultation, a cardboard cut-out of a topless lady or chap pops up behind the doctor on a rail running around the top of the wall. Once popped up (the cardboard cut-out, that is) and it starts its merry ride across the wall, the extent to which the patient turns his or her neck to continuing ogling said cut-out could be a good indicator of the seriousness of their injury.
If it rotates owl-like (or à la the girl from the Exorcist), the doctor will doubtless feel more assured that all is not what it seems.
Alternatively, the doctor could ask the patient if that £50 note by their foot is his/hers and judge the speed and ease by which they cranked their head down (coupled with the time it took them to feign an “ohh-my-neck” groan) was consistent with a genuine case of whiplash or was more suggestive of them being a workshy, benefits-swindling layabout.
I know, I know. I have some great ideas sometimes.