Whiplash and Associated Disorders

In SA more than 2,500 people suffer whiplash in road crashes every year, representing 45% of all personal injury insurance claims and costing around $130 million. Whiplash Associated Disorders (WADs) are the most common injury for which compensation is sought under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme in South Australia.

To improve the health outcomes for these patients the MAC, commissioned comprehensive research into the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of acute and chronic whiplash associated-disorders. An independent Best Practice Taskforce (BPT) was established to oversee the development of best practice clinical guidelines for the management of acute and chronic whiplash-associated disorders for use by health professionals.

Clinical guidelines and other resources have been released by MAC to help medical and health providers, injured people, insurance claims managers and solicitors understand more about the management of whiplash-associated disorders.

Although most people recover from Whiplash Associated Disorders (WADs), both the symptoms and recovery time associated with WADs varies considerably from person to person.

The Clinical guidelines for best practice management of acute and chronic whiplash-associated disordersoffer a series of recommendations and a separate treatment strands for acute and chronic WAD. The guidelines were endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in November 2008.

The guidelines provide directions for assessment and diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of whiplash, from the point at which a patient presents to their primary practitioner. They are intended to assist health providers delivering primary care to adults with acute or chronic neck pain after a motor vehicle collision.

The recommendations are a guide to best practice; however each case should be assessed and treated individually.

Guidelines relating to whiplash-associated disorders for health professionals and consumers can be downloaded from our Brochures and Forms page.

The University of Queensland's (UQ) Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD - based within in the UQ School of Medicine) and the NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health (CCRE Spine) have combined resources to establish the Whiplash Evidence Based Information Resource.  This resource provides evidence based information (summaries of current evidence for and against specific whiplash treatments) to the general public and health care professionals about whiplash and its management.

Medical Research

MAC proudly supported traumatic brain injury (TBI) research conducted by the University of Adelaide research team, which was led by Professor Robert Vink. The research seeks to contribute to drug development and improve rehabilitation outcomes for TBI victims

Healthcare Professionals

Information for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare Professionals

Information for Healthcare Professionals

MAC has introduced initiatives to improve health outcomes, management and care of patients with motor vehicle injuries.

Early notification of motor vehicle injuries is a critical component of best practice claims management.  Early reporting and assessment enables prompt advice to be provided about funding treatment to support better health outcomes, faster recovery and earlier claim resolution for patients.

To improve the management and care of patients, clinical guidelines for the management of whiplash-associated disorders have been developed. 

Progressive payment of treatment expenses

The SA CTP Scheme is a fault based common law scheme.  This means that injured people are compensated through a once and for all lump sum.

MAC is committed to improving the health outcomes of injured people and to maximise their recovery.  The new claim notification process is a crucial step to assist MAC achieve this goal.

The Approved Injury Claim Form and Prescribed Authority will provide Allianz with more information at an earlier stage to be in a better position to make decisions about funding reasonable and necessary treatment on a progressive basis.  However, where a claimant chooses not to complete the Approved Injury Claim Form, it is unlikely that treatment will be funded on a progressive basis. In these cases, the claimant is responsible for payment of the treatment and is able to seek reimbursement from Allianz when their claim is settled.

Healthcare Professionals

Guidelines and Code of Conduct

Healthcare Professionals

Guidelines and Code of Conduct

To ensure a high quality standard of care is provided to those injured on our roads the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) has introduced new Guidelines and a Code of Conduct for providers of care and support services. If you are a provider of attendant care, domestic assistance and garden & home maintenance services MAC is seeking your commitment to compliance with new Code. These standards also introduce new invoicing standards and service codes which will come into effect from 1 January 2011.

Download the Guidelines and Code of Conduct