Whiplash Recovery Study

April 20, 2000

A recent University of Alberta, Canada research team believes that people hurt in traffic accidents recover better when they can’t collect money for their pain and suffering. The study analyzed whiplash claims after the Saskatchewan province switched to a no-fault system.

The researchers studied 7,462 whiplash claims for six months before and one year after the change. The frequency of claims under no fault slipped 28 percent within six months. And the average time to settle claims dropped by a dramatic 54 percent according to the report.

The researchers also found that, as people settled claims, they reported less neck pain, better functioning and fewer symptoms. In the U.S., 13 states have implemented no-fault auto insurance laws, which allow policyholders to recover benefits regardless of fault. The laws also restrict the right to sue.

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