Eight people sustain similar whiplash type injuries in a two-car accident.
Eight people (four in each car) sustained similar type injuries when two cars collided late one evening at a poorly lit intersection. No drugs or alcohol were believed to be involved although none of those injured spoke English, so determination of the facts was harder to achieve. Each had claimed that they’d hit their mouths but since little damage appeared to have been done to the cars, the insurance company asked the DEW to review the case.
The people were examined but inconsistent findings noted. Further careful investigation of previous dental records by the DEW revealed a previous and similar accident in which two of these eight claimants were also involved. The facts were incorporated into the DEW’s report and submitted to the defendants counsel. A pretrial meeting saw the case dropped by the claimants counsel. The defendant’s counsel intimated the possibility of a counter claim but it was not pursued.
From the Dental Expert Witness’ Report it was clear that the “accident” was a scam. Such actions may drive up the cost of insurance premiums. While whiplash injuries are sometimes less easy to apportion costs to than direct and more “obvious” injuries (like a fractured bone), an experienced clinician can often determine the likelihood of injury. Experience (and a degree of insight) can allow the Dental Expert Witness to investigate appropriate records and discover aspects of a case that would otherwise not likely come to light.
Would this claim have been immediately considered spurious when in fact the occupants may have had legitimate claim?
It is said that, “All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously, for the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. Do you think this example is unique? The Dental Expert Witness may throw fact on what may appear frivolous, can prepare a report for a defendant or claimant (plaintiff).
Author – Stephen Bray DDS