Minor Impact Soft Tissue Injuries, IMEs using Quebec Task Force Scientifically Flawed but a successful Insurance Savings Model

Recently, I’ve had many an adjuster give me a song-and-dance argument about low speed, impacts, minor impact soft tissue (MIST) cases, and the theory that you can’t be too injured (4) if there wasn’t much damage to the car….i.e., the chiro bills are too high.    I’m sure many of you run into this situation frequently.

I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss a few available articles and studies to either refresh some statistics to those of you who are already familiar with these and/or introduce it to those of you who aren’t.   

A few key stats that might be helpful in your practice in dealing with these arguments regarding minor impact soft tissue injuries are as follows:

1.   Many adjusters, and even so-called “Independent Medical Examiners (IME doctors)” love to quote the Quebec Task Force study as being the basis to determine reasonable and necessary treatment plans (or deny payment to you).   Freeman and Croft have published independent articles refuting this study and demonstrating the flaws in its methodology.   Their conclusion is that the validity of the study is questionable, which stems from several distinct and significant categories of methodological errors, which included selection bias, unsupported conclusions and recommendations, and inappropriate generalizations.   Freeman, Croft. Spine 1999;24 #1:86-96 and Spine 1998;23:1043-9.

2.  The Krafft study found that chronic injury rates at Delta Vs 5-10 Km/hr (3.1 – 6.2 mph) were twice that of Delta V 10-15 Km/hr (6.2 – 9.3 mph), and chronic injury rates at Delta Vs 15-20 km/hr (9.3-12.4 mph) were twice the rates seen at 20-25 km/hr Delta Vs (12.4-15.5 mph).   These rates likely relate to the stiffness and elasticity of the vehicle and the complex interplay between seat designs, occupant mass, occupant position, and vehicle dynamics.  Krafft.  Accid. Anal. Prey. 2000:32:187-95.  

3.  An interesting statistic in the Krafft study was that the two crashes resulting in long-term disabling neck injuries had the highest peak ACCELERATION (15 and 13x G), but not the highest change in VELOCITY.   Krafft.  Accid. Anal. Prev. 2000:32:187-95.

4.   Many studies, including those by Freeman, Brault, Siegmund, and Davis, all came to the same conclusion that that there is no connection between Delta V and injury risk.   They further concluded that the medical and scientific literature does NOT support the validity of MIST and there is no statistically significant correlation between crash severity and long-term outcome.  Brault.  Accid. Anal. Prev.2000:32:207-17.  Davis. J Manipulative Physiol. Ther. 1998;21:629-39

Hopefully this minor impact soft tissue injuries information will be useful to you in your practice.  If you have any questions about this or any other topic related to personal injury, please feel free to call me.  

Have a great day!   

** Matthew Kober is a personal injury attorney at the law firm of Pearson, Butler & Carson, PLLC.   He was recently nominated as one of the “10 Best” Personal Injury Attorneys in the State of Utah by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.  He is also recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 attorneys by The National Trial Lawyers Association and is one of the very few attorneys in the United States that holds a certificate in Motor Vehicle Collision Occupant Injuries issued by the Personal Injury Training Institute.   He has handled hundreds of cases ranging from $3,000.00 to $3,000,000.00, regularly litigates cases when needed, and is always available to doctors and clients on his direct line listed below.    


Matthew R. Kober

Attorney at Law

Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC

Office:  (801)  495.4104

Direct:  (801)  996.3847

Fax:      (801)  254-9427



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