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Can You Get Whiplash from a Side Impact Collision?

A side impact occurs when one vehicle collides into the side of another, often caused by a failure to follow traffic laws and drive safely. These collisions can severely injure the occupants of either vehicle, especially the car that suffered the impact.

Whiplash is one of the injuries that can result from a side impact collision. If you develop this painful condition after a Texas car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you can—and to speak with a lawyer about your legal options. 

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues in the neck and upper back. It occurs when your head is whipped back and forth in a rapid, forceful motion. This injury can occur during many events but is often associated with car accidents.

Symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck
  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Dizziness and disorientation
  • Tenderness in the upper back and arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms

Side impact collisions generate a significant amount of force, causing the occupants inside to jolt forward and backward in a sudden motion. As a result, the soft tissues in the neck and back can twist, tear, and become damaged, leading to whiplash.

Liability in Side Impact Collisions

Texas is a fault accident state, meaning that negligent drivers are financially responsible for any collisions that they cause. If you are injured in a side impact collision, you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the liable party.

Drivers have a duty to follow traffic law and drive safely for the road conditions. If a driver’s dangerous behaviors caused your side impact collision, he or she is likely liable for your accident. 

Examples of dangerous and negligent driving behaviors include:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Fatigued or drowsy driving

For example, say that you are traveling through an intersection when another driver runs a red light. The driver collides into the side of your car and severely injures you. Had the driver followed the law and stopped at the light, your accident would not have occurred—making him or her liable for the accident.

Speak to an Attorney After a Side Impact Collision

Proving your right to compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit can be challenging, especially if you have developed whiplash. Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury, you cannot prove it using X-rays or other medical scans. Many insurance companies scrutinize victims who develop whiplash and may believe that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.

In these situations, you need an advocate on your side who can guide you through the process and fight for your right to maximum compensation. A Texas car accident attorney understands how painful whiplash can be and will negotiate aggressively with the insurer to prove your right to recovery.

As soon as possible after your accident, seek medical care and receive the treatment that you need. Once you have accomplished this step, contact a McAllen car accident lawyer to discuss your car accident case.