Can I Get Whiplash From a Side Impact Car Accident?

When another driver hits the side of your vehicle, it can cause many injuries, including soft tissue injuries to your neck, among others. Whiplash is a painful injury, and if another driver’s negligence causes you to suffer a whiplash injury in a side impact accident, protect your rights by consulting with an experienced car accident attorney today.

Can a Side Impact Collision Cause Whiplash?

Yes, side impact car accidents can cause whiplash, and many accident victims must deal with this serious injury for a long time following a collision. If you feel soreness or stiffness in your neck following a side impact crash, you should get an immediate medical evaluation since you might have whiplash.

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury resulting from the head whipping back and forth on the neck – like a whip cracks. Your head and neck do not need to shake forward and backward to sustain a whiplash injury, as the sideways shaking of a side impact injury is enough to cause whiplash.

Many people do not understand whiplash injuries and underestimate the implications of this injury:

  • Whiplash tends to be extremely painful, and while the pain can come and go, it can also become chronic.
  • Whiplash is closely associated with serious losses in the range of motion.
  • When the whiplash injury is severe, it can be physically debilitating.

The impact to the neck (regardless of the direction the impact comes from) causes the injury, and the pain associated tends to flow from the neck down into the shoulders, back, and lower back. Whiplash often requires extensive pain management in addition to physical therapy and alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care.

Some of the symptoms that a side-impact car accident may have caused a whiplash injury include:

  • The onset of dizziness and fatigue
  • A headache that radiates from the base of the skull
  • Stiffness and pain in the neck region
  • An increase in pain with motion
  • An inability to move the neck in its normal range of motion
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms
  • The onset of tenderness in the shoulders, upper back, or arms

Side-Impact AccidentsGet Whiplash From a Side Impact Car Accident

We often refer to side impact accidents as T-bone accidents , and they are most common in intersections where drivers traveling in different directions meet. Side impact accidents are uniquely dangerous in many ways.

Typically, the driver that crashes into the other vehicle’s side causes these accidents, but this isn’t always the case.


When another car strikes yours from the side, that driver has blindsided you, which means that even if you had an opportunity to do something to avoid the accident, you didn’t see it coming so you were left with no options.

Lack of a Crumple Zone

Although we have the hood at the front and the trunk at the back of our cars to help protect us from the impact of rear-end and head-on accidents, our cars come with no such buffer zone on the sides. Additionally, although your car almost certainly has front airbags, it very well may not have side airbags. In other words, you’re far more vulnerable to the impact of a T-bone accident.

The Dangerous Push Effect

When another driver T-bones you, it’s not uncommon for that car to push yours into an oncoming lane of traffic, which intensifies the associated danger. Side impact accidents can amount to two accidents in one.

When another vehicle hits yours from the side, your neck is vulnerable, and whiplash that leads to long-lasting pain and ongoing healthcare needs is not uncommon.

Whiplash-Related Losses

A whiplash injury can lead to serious pain and decreased range of motion that not only requires long-term healthcare needs but that can also keep you off the job even office workers. If you are a physical laborer, the financial losses can be even more significant. There are three basic categories of loss that tend to accompany side-impact accidents and whiplash injuries (in addition to property damage to your vehicle).

Medical Costs

Whiplash can be a bedeviling injury that can be difficult to treat effectively. Medical care often focuses on pain management and physical therapy to help you regain range of motion and manage your pain. When the whiplash injury leads to chronic pain, the medical care you require will be ongoing.

Lost Earnings

A severe whiplash injury can seriously interfere with your ability to do your job, and your earnings can take a serious hit. If your injury keeps you from advancing your career, your financial losses will multiply. With a career loss of this magnitude, there can also be a significant emotional component.

Pain and Suffering

While your medical bills and any decrease in pay are obvious reminders of how significant your financial losses are, it can be far more difficult to assess your emotional losses, including your physical and psychological pain and suffering. This complicated loss category can lead to devastating emotional challenges that you should accurately reflect in your car accident claim .

Common Causes of Side Impact Accidents

The fact is that side-impact accidents are often the result of specific kinds of driver negligence.

Excess Speed

When motorists exceed the speed limit or fail to decrease their speed for road conditions, they make accidents like side-impact accidents far more likely.

Excess speed significantly decreases the time drivers have to react to dangers on the road including the time necessary to slow down and avoid entering an intersection when it’s unsafe to do so. When motorists speed, they make accidents like side-impact accidents more likely and significantly increase the risk that the accident will lead to severe injuries.


When motorists are distracted , they don’t pay adequate attention to what is going on around them, and dangerous accidents are often the result. Imagine that driver who has his nose in his phone suddenly tearing his eyes away only to find that he’s entering an intersection when he shouldn’t be. If there is one time that drivers need all their wits about them, it’s in intersections, and there is no safe place for distraction in this safety calculus.


Impairment plays far too significant a role in accidents, including side-impact crashes. Drunk drivers suffer visual, physical, and cognitive impairments that make safely navigating intersections far more difficult.

Discuss Your Claim With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney

Chis Dixon, St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney

If another driver’s negligence causes a side impact accident that leaves you with a whiplash injury, the stakes are too high to leave to chance. When you enlist the help of a qualified auto accident lawyer, you will have the best chance of recovering all of your financial losses resulting from the accident.

Your lawyer can navigate the complex world of insurance companies and the legal system for you. They can do that while you focus on the most important thing – your recovery from your injuries.

The right car accident lawyer will take your whiplash injury seriously and seek maximum compensation for your losses from liable drivers.