Whiplash injury described by an IME as compensation-itis – WTF


Have you ever had whiplash? We know of quite a few injured workers who do and it’s incredibly painful! Even if they don’t file for workers compensation! However, according to some bizarre doctor (IME) suffering from this very painful condition might be a form of accident neurosis or “compensation-itis”, for which the only cure is an injection of a large cheque into the victim’s bank account. WTF!

Whiplash injury described by an IME as compensation-itis – WTF

Whiplash = accident neurosis or ‘compensation-itis’

We were recently contacted by an injured worker, who sustained a nasty whiplash injury (amongst other injuries), which has been bothering her for the past 11 months, rendering her unable to work due to severely painful muscle spams.

We all know that seat belts can be something of a mixed blessing for those involved in minor car accidents, as it has been shown they undoubtedly increase the frequency and severity of whiplash injuries to the neck. Don’t forget that if you have unfortunately been involved in a car accident then you should also look at getting yourself a car accident lawyer to help you out further.

It can take a few weeks/months for the muscle to repair itself and the pain and stiffness to subside, though for some the symptoms can persist for many years, resulting in chronic disability.

According to an “independent doctor” report, there is no obvious explanation for this injured worker’s chronic disability and incapacity for work, as X-rays and MRI scans are normal, prompting the IME to write…

“that this might be a form of accident neurosis or “compensation-itis”, for which the only cure is an injection of a large cheque into the victim’s bank account.

Needless to say that the suggestion that X-rays can demonstrate “objective evidence” of this type of injury injury can be misleading as they cannot visualise inflammation in the facet joints of the vertebrae in the neck!

The only certain way of assessing whether this might account for those symptoms is by blocking the action of the relevant nerves by an injection of local anaesthetic into the joint. This abolishes the pain in most patients. So much for “compensation-itis”!

The bewildered injured worker, who is prescribed a muscle relaxant (Valium) to control her painful spasms wonders if this so called “independent” doctor has ever suffered from a severe whiplash?

“I do and it’s incredibly painful! I have been suffering since about 11 months and am undergoing weekly physiotherapy- I am truly unable to work as it has caused the shoulder, collar bone, trapezoid and back to be damaged as a result of the severe spasms ! And no I had not even applied for workers compensation as I did not even know I could, until 6 months after my (journey) accident!”

Needless to mention this injured worker workcover claim for her whiplash injury was denied based on the famous IME nonsense-itis!


[Post dictated by WCV and manually transcribed on behalf of workcovervictim]



6 Responses to “Whiplash injury described by an IME as compensation-itis – WTF”

  1. who else thinks IME’s run off a script? how many of you have had your IME ask you do you sleep well? hmmm could it be a part of some sort of psychological fitment test these phony clowns are using?

  2. Complaint to WorkSafe about the doctor, complain to the AMA, complain to doctor’s registry board seeking an apology and a retraction. If you can, take the matter to VCAT. Only through doing this will the IME’s learn.

  3. I need to add that said doctor has actually broken the law. Writing that in a report is actually libel as he is stating as a fact something that is not known as a fact, it cannot be taken as truth and he is using his professional standing to do this, you might also be able to get them on defamation of character for this. I know legal actions are expensive, but if you have no or limited income you would qualify for legal aid (everyone is also entitled to one free legal aid advice session) or even better search for a lawyer who will take it on a contingency basis. Really this is just a horrifying situation, this so called doctor is so comfortable in his insurance company bubble that he thinks he can denigrate an injured worker with no repercussions. I am pleading with you to pursue this further as this doctor is potentially very dangerous to others.

  4. Sounds like that Doctor needs a dose of Medical Negligence itis to cure his obvious lack of competency as a medical practitioner. This is beyond disgusting

  5. @Dumbfounded
    Sorry about your injury. Insurers “love” soft tissue damage! Very hard to get “hard” evidence to prove your work injury is the cause – the old “pre-existing degenerative condition” – WTF.

    And even when there IS a fracture, unless it is a horrendous compounded break, they still disregard it as minor break and “no evidence” of ongoing issues.

    Insurers and their IMEs are lying, low life, pieces of shit, devoid of any soul, spirituality, morality, ethics, sympathy or empathy – and that are their good points!

    Keep fighting the bastards, make them each shit and die!

  6. I had something similar – cervical facet joint strain caused by lack of desk ergonomics. Stress aggravates it and causes muscle spasms. Actually using my fingers arms or turning my head and holding a head position other than looking straight ahead causes spasms. The condition was/is debilitating if you get the wrong employer which I did it could get a whole lot worse. My shoulder, upper back and left arm is affected now. It can damage the thoracic nerve. What you’re feeling now in my opinion is permanent and can in future years become a lot worse (depending on your future employers and non work activities). I did 5 months of hydrotherapy to get my movement back recently. To be honest I didn’t think I’d get it back this time (this is 7 years on from initial injury). The Physio said sometimes recovery from a muscle strain is worse than breaking your neck.