You can get whiplash from a side-impact collision. A side-impact collision occurs when one vehicle strikes the side of another. Whiplash strains the muscles in the neck when they snap back and forth, like the cracking of a whip.
Whiplash is a typical result of car accidents. The sudden impact results in the head and neck jerking as they attempt to continue moving in the previous direction of travel. This can be explained by understanding Newton’s First Law of Motion (inertia). Healing from whiplash can take weeks, and, in some cases, the condition can cause chronic and lasting pain.
Whiplash: Symptoms, Treatment, And What To Know
According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of whiplash include:
- Pain and stiffness in your neck
- Neck pain with movement
- Decreased range of motion in your neck
- Headaches and migraines stemming from the base of your skull
- Fatigue or sleep disturbances
- Dizziness and blurred vision
- Tinnitus or a ringing in your ears
- Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
- Depression and irritability
- Tenderness, tingling, or numbness in your shoulders, upper back, and arms
You might be more likely to experience whiplash depending on your age, if you had whiplash before, or have existing neck or back pain. You are also more likely to get whiplash if the accident occurred at high speed.
If you think you may have suffered a whiplash injury in a side-impact accident, seek medical attention. A prompt diagnosis will help you manage and treat your symptoms. Whiplash is not a condition to be taken lightly. According to BMC Public Health, the condition can last years after the initial accident, leading to long-term health complications.
Whiplash Can Take Days (Even Weeks) To Manifest
Whiplash symptoms may not be immediately evident. Due to the flow of adrenaline and cortisol you experience during a car accident, the pain and soreness may not settle in until hours, days, and sometimes weeks later. Still, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible following a vehicle accident, even if you don’t think you are injured.
Neck injuries may not have any outward, visible signs, such as bruising. Pay attention to the list of symptoms listed above. The symptoms might be more severe than usual if you had a pre-existing medical condition before your accident.
Factors That Can Affect The Severity Of Your Injury
The seriousness of your whiplash injury will depend on several things, such as:
The position of your body during the crash
- The speed of the vehicles involved
- Your weight and age
- The use of a seat belt and the presence of airbags
- The direction in which your body was thrown
In collisions, women are twice as likely to suffer whiplash than men. That’s because their necks are usually thinner. The same goes for children.
Diagnosing And Treating Whiplash
Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury, affecting the neck’s muscles, ligaments, nerves, and disks that might not appear on an x-ray. This sometimes makes diagnosing difficult and may require additional testing, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans or a computerized tomography (CT) scan.
Treatment Can Vary Depending On The Severity
Treatment for whiplash depends on the extent of your injury. To decrease the pain of minor whiplash, your doctor may suggest rest, over-the-counter medication, and applying heat or ice to the area to reduce inflammation.
If you have a more severe injury, you may need prescription medications to control pain, muscle relaxants to unwind tight muscles, and injections to numb the area while completing physical therapy.
The goal of whiplash treatment is to restore your quality of life. You may need therapy or medications to handle the pain and increase your range of motion. Some alternative remedies can include massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.
Additionally, it is difficult to say when you will recover completely. Consulting with a healthcare provider can offer more insight into your condition and estimated recovery period.
Common Injuries In A Side-Impact Collision
As noted, you can get whiplash from a side-impact collision. However, that’s not the only condition you could suffer. Other related injuries include:
- Broken bones, especially in the hands, forearms, or lower body
- Injuries to the back or spinal cord
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Serious abrasions
- Lacerations or cuts
In some cases, side-impact accidents can result in the death of a driver or passenger. If you lost a loved one in an accident, we offer our sincerest condolences for your loss. It is never easy to lose a family member.
While financial recovery can’t alleviate your grief, it can offer help with paying for various expenses, such as funeral and burial costs.
Possible Awards In A Side-Impact Collision Case
The damages you can recover through a claim or lawsuit depend on your situation. You could resolve your case by filing a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy. This would allow you to recover some compensation for your medical bills and missed time from work.
Yet, if your damages exceed a certain amount, you can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. In some cases, you can file a lawsuit. In that instance, recoverable damages may comprise:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages, including raises, promotions, commissions, and bonuses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Property damage expenses
In a case of wrongful death, your family could be awarded compensation for:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Medical costs, such as hospice or surgery
- Loss of future familial wages (if the deceased was the primary source of income)
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
Discussing your financial recovery options with a car accident or personal injury attorney might benefit you.
You Must Prove Negligence To Recover Your Collision-Related Damages
As noted, if you want to pursue damages outside your PIP coverage, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. However, this requires proving negligence, which involves showing:
- Duty of care. The other party had an obligation to drive safely.
- Breach of duty. The other party did not drive safely.
- Causation. The other party caused your accident.
- Damages. You have damages stemming from the collision.
Proving negligence can be complicated––especially while undergoing treatment for a serious injury. You deserve to have a legal advocate who will champion your rights and seek what you need.
How Our Whiplash Accident Team Can Help
If another party caused your accident, you can contact our whiplash accident team to discuss seeking compensation. Our team will serve you by:
- Documenting your version of events
- Initiating legal action
- Collecting and archiving evidence of the accident
- Fulfilling all legal obligations to achieve a judgment or settlement
- Protecting your rights throughout the legal process
Our team will guide you through the financial recovery process from beginning to end. Many situations like yours settle via insurance claims. Still, sometimes, you might have to go to court to obtain the monetary award you deserve to cover your damages and help you move on.
We Will File Your Case Within The Statutory Deadline
Whiplash can take weeks to heal from. You should take the time you need to reach maximum medical improvement. However, your lawsuit’s filing deadline is a different matter. You generally have four years from the date of your injury to file your case, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
With our team pursuing your case, you don’t have to worry about the statute of limitations. Yet, the longer you wait, the faster the clock could start ticking. If the four-year period expires, you could lose the right to seek damages.
Contact The Law Offices Of Anidjar & Levine Today
Whiplash is common in side-impact accidents and other kinds of collisions. Dealing with these injuries is often tricky. Trying to juggle numerous financial and legal pressures makes things more challenging for you and your family.
A lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will defend your legal position after you suffer a whiplash injury in a side-impact accident. Our team is here to collect evidence and identify a liable party on your behalf.
We will also seek the financial compensation that you and your loved ones need after an accident. Contact our office today. You worry about getting better. We take care of everything else.
We Can Help.