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Can You Get Whiplash From a Side Impact Collision?

Colburn Law

Whiplash From Side Impact Collision

A side-impact collision, also known as a T-bone collision, can be very serious. These accidents occur when one vehicle collides head-on into the side of another vehicle, severely injuring the occupants inside. Any passenger inside of a vehicle during a side impact collision can suffer serious injuries, including internal organ damage, broken bones, and brain injuries. In some accidents, victims develop whiplash, a painful soft tissue injury.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when a strong force rapidly moves the neck back and forth. As a result, the muscles and ligaments in the upper body tear, twist, and suffer damage, leading to painful symptoms. Many events can contribute to whiplash, including car accidents, contact sports, and physical assault.

Whiplash symptoms may not develop until days after the injury and may include the following.

  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Stiffness and pain in the neck
  • Increased pain with movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Tenderness or pain in the arms, shoulders, or upper back
  • Headaches that often begin in the base of the skull
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms

Recovery from whiplash varies from patient to patient. Some people recover within a few weeks or may endure symptoms for several months or even years.

Whiplash and Side Impact Collisions

Car accidents generate significant amounts of force, including side-impact collisions. Although the person sitting on the side of the collision is likely to suffer severe injuries such as broken bones or internal organ damage, this force can cause his or her neck to move in an unnatural direction. As a result, he or she can develop whiplash. Other people sitting in the vehicle can also sustain this injury.

Whiplash victims who are older, sustained the injury during a high-speed collision, or have existing back pain are more likely to suffer from worse symptoms and longer recovery times. Side impact collisions can occur at very high speeds, generating severe force that can harm a person’s neck tissues.

What to Do After a Side Impact Collision

Washington is a fault accident state, which means a person who causes an accident must pay for the damages of his or her victims. However, these victims must prove that they sustained injuries due to the accident to receive this compensation. Since whiplash injuries do not appear on an x-ray, they can be very difficult to prove after a car accident.

If you are in a side-impact collision, it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Although you may not have any symptoms immediately after the crash, failure to go to the doctor as soon as possible can harm your claim. The insurance company may believe that your injuries are not as severe as you claim them to be, using your actions after the accident to deny or reduce your claim.

After the collision, seek medical attention and save all records related to your treatment and injuries. Once you receive treatment, contact a Bellevue car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Your attorney can help you find the care you need to treat your whiplash injury, explain your legal options, and take the first steps to hold the at-fault driver accountable.