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December 15, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(16):1492. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970330064027

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To the Editor:—  The article by Gotten, "Survey of One Hundred Cases of Whiplash Injury After Settlement of Litigation" (J. A. M. A.162:865 [Oct. 27] 1956) is the best approach to the problem that I have yet read. However, it is based only upon cases that were the subject of litigation and the conclusions are of necessity post hoc, ergo propter hoc. The figures can have no valid meaning until someone makes the same study, using the same questionnaire on the same number of cases of whiplash injury that have not been the subject of litigation. I strongly suspect that in such a control study the percentage recovery, length of disability, symptoms, and permanent disability will not be much different in the two series. Gotten's description of the mechanism of whiplash injury follows the common error, stating that when the victim's car is struck "from behind or from

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