While whiplash often develops due to a rear-end collision, it can arise from side-impact accidents. In many instances, the same injuries occur regardless of whether a vehicle is struck from behind, the front, or the side. Although the degree of damage greatly varies with each accident, whiplash usually occurs because those inside their vehicles can get jostled around violently at the time of impact. Since the neck is one of the body’s most vulnerable parts, even low-impact crashes can cause it to jerk back and forth or side to side suddenly.
Sometimes, a neck injury from a side-impact accident can be more serious than that from other kinds of collisions. When you get hit from the side, there is generally less of a crash zone to protect you. Moreover, your vehicle can also move forward during the collision and not just sideways. It is not difficult to imagine how such situations can stretch your neck forcefully.
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Signs You Have Whiplash Injury
Following a traumatic incident, you might not immediately realize you have been hurt more than you were. Adrenaline and cortisol that course through your body at the time of an accident may minimize the pain you feel in the neck area. This is why those who get whiplash sometimes become aware of their injury only after a few days or weeks.
Since neck injuries typically do not have visual signs, you need to observe if you are experiencing these symptoms, as outlined by the Mayo Clinic:
- Stiffness or pain around the neck and shoulders
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the arms
- Limited movement in the neck
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disruptions
- Memory problems
If you had a pre-existing medical condition before your accident, the symptoms might be more severe than usual. Additionally, it is difficult to say for certain when you will recover completely. All these factors could affect the amount of compensation or settlement you will be seeking from those responsible for your injuries.
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 body frame, the use of a seat belt, the presence of airbags, and the direction in which your body was thrown. Most of the time, children and women suffer from worse injuries because their necks are thinner. The same goes for those who had trauma to their necks in the past.
What to Do if You Have a Whiplash Injury
There is no definite way to tell how long it would take for you to heal from whiplash fully, and you also cannot predict whether you will be left with a permanent injury or chronic symptoms. With this in mind, it is vital to seek medical attention without delay. Treatment for whiplash can involve prescription or over-the-counter medications and physical therapy, as Healthline notes. You also may want to explore your legal options, and you can do this with an accident lawyer’s help. If someone else is liable for your whiplash injury, you may have the right to pursue compensatory damages.
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Act Now to Begin Your Potential Case
Since you now know you can get whiplash in a side-impact accident, you should not wait to talk with a lawyer who can assess your case and advise you on how to move forward. Please contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine immediately at 1-800-747-3733 so that we can set up a free consultation and assist you with your legal concerns.