Can You Sue if You Get Headaches After a Car Accident?

Head injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents and can be devastating. After a head injury, the patient can experience symptoms far into the future. Headaches can be a sign of a serious brain injury and should not be ignored. 

Headaches that start after a car accident injury are called “post-traumatic headaches.” The accident doesn’t need to be major; even small accidents can cause brain damage. 


Reasons Why Headaches Occur After a Crash

When a person experiences violent shaking or a blow to the head, as seen in the case of a rear-end collision, they can suffer a brain injury. Headaches can appear immediately or come much later after the accident. They can be constantly present or temporarily come and go.

There are three common causes of headaches after a vehicle crash:


  1. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur when there is a hard blow to the head, or an object penetrates the skull or tissue of the brain. TBIs can be minor with temporary symptoms or can be fatal or cause long-term damage. 
  2. A concussion can happen from a hard blow to the head or violent shaking. Common symptoms after a concussion include headaches, loss of balance, poor concentration, memory loss, and even changes in speech.
  3. Whiplash is usually seen in rear-end crashes where the person suffers neck injuries from the violent impact and the fast backward and forward tug. Headaches caused by whiplash usually surge from the base of the skull, upward towards the forehead.


Headache Symptoms Due to a Car Accident

Most people dismiss headaches with a pain reliever without investigating recurring symptoms. A new pattern of headache symptoms after a car accident can indicate a serious brain injury. 

If the person experiences any of the symptoms below, it is likely they have suffered a brain injury:


  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in appetite
  • Throbbing aches in the neck or head
  • Changes in memory
  • Poor coordination or balance
  • Confusion or changes in mood
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Tenderness in shoulders, back, or head


Victims of a crash who experience headaches are likely to also suffer from other symptoms such as back and neck pain. Just because you walked away from the crash, it does not mean your physical injuries are under control. A brain injury lawyer has seen many cases and has the experience to seek compensation for your present and future symptoms caused by a crash.


How Long Can Post-Traumatic Headaches Persist?

The amount of time a victim can suffer post-traumatic headaches depends on the unique circumstances of that person; it is different for everyone. 


Episodic headaches come and go with no particular pattern. However, chronic headaches are present for at least three consecutive months, or if they happen more than half of the days of the month. They can last for fifteen minutes or disturb your whole day. The intensity can be bearable, or they can be intense enough to incapacitate you the whole day. Keeping track of the episodes will be helpful for the ongoing medical observation required after brain injuries. 


How to Treat Headaches Caused by a Car Accident

It is dangerous to assume that headaches experienced after a car crash will simply go away in time. Your medical team must constantly monitor you to rule out major brain damage that can cause other symptoms. Look out for these conditions that can indicate serious brain damage:


  1. Hydrocephalus is the accumulation of fluid in the brain. After a crash, cerebrospinal fluid can fill the spaces in the brain called cerebral ventricles. This causes an increase in pressure and swelling in the brain. 


  1. Post-traumatic epilepsy is a condition that presents seizures. It can be caused by a traumatic brain injury and can manifest years after the event. A person cannot safely walk or drive a vehicle if they are prone to having seizures. It can be harmful to them and the people around them. These people have to take preventative measures to live a normal functioning life.


  1. Blood vessel damage is possible after trauma to the head. This condition puts the victim at risk of having a stroke, developing blood clots, and experiencing other major health problems.


Traumatic brain injuries can cause a variety of health problems. A brain injury attorney has the experience and knowledge to protect your legal rights and health.


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