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Can a Side-Swipe Car Accident Result in Neck or Back Surgery?

A side-swipe accident can result in serious injuries, including significant neck and back injuries and surgery in some cases.

A side-swipe accident occurs when two vehicles, side-by-side, collide. This generally occurs when a vehicle is changing lanes or where an inattentive motorist drifts into your lane. Vehicles that are struck can be forced off the road, into traffic barriers or into other traffic, and sometimes the results can be devastating.

Even in seemingly minor collisions, an occupant can suffer whiplash-type injuries where the soft tissues of a person’s neck and back are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. Depending on the person’s physical condition or the mechanism of the injury, a disc injury can occur.

Symptoms of a Disc Injuries

Headaches, neck pain, arm heaviness and pain, tingling and numbness in the hands or limbs, radiating pain into the arms, hands and fingers, blurry vision, nausea and low back pain and radiating pain into the legs and feet are typical symptoms of disc injuries. You may also experience loss of sleep, loss of range of motion, and irritability.

An MRI is usually needed to detect a disc injury, nerve compression or herniation. A herniation is a process where the spinal disc ruptures or a portion of the disc pushes out from between the vertebrae. The rupture can pinch the spinal nerves or compress them.

A herniated disc can produce feelings of electric shock pain, muscle weakness, tingling and numbness, radiating pain and bowel or bladder problems.


Treatment can be conservative and consist of rest, ice and heat applications, physical therapy to stabilize the lumbar spine muscles, and taking NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Other treatment can include epidural steroidal injections into the area of nerve compression.

Should there be significant neurological problems or if conservative treatment fails to significantly alleviate the pain, a fusion, disc replacement or other significant neurosurgical operation may be needed.


Your damages in a side-swipe accident case can include the following:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Loss of past lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering

If you experience significant pain following a side-swipe accident, do not wait to consult with a personal injury or car accident attorney. A delay in presenting your claim can severely damage your opportunity to seek compensation as can the lack of competent legal representation at the earliest stages of your case. Contact The Wiseman Law Firm if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident.