Migraines After Car Crash? Here’s What They Mean and What to Do
Headaches are painful and stressful, and they make it difficult to concentrate and go about your day. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, head pain may be a symptom that either began or worsened after the incident.
If you have painful headaches that upset your life after a car accident, it may be time to file a claim for compensation. In this post, we’ll explore dealing with typical and migraine headaches after a motor vehicle accident, factors that could impact your claim and case, and how a personal injury attorney can help.
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What Factors Determine the Value of a Post-Traumatic Headache Car Accident Case?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses, such as medical care and the pain you suffer. While this can certainly include headache pain, claims for headaches after a car accident are often complex and involve many factors.
For example, say you were in an auto accident and the sudden, violent jolt caused your head to bounce in different directions. A few days later you have a constant headache, but the doctors see no sign of traumatic brain injury (TBI). While it may be perfectly clear to you that the car accident was the root cause of your headache symptoms, the insurance company will be harder to convince.
Many factors can influence the value of your case, especially due to the fact headaches are often “invisible” injuries without a detectable skull or brain injury:
- Your age and baseline health before the car accident
- The severity of your other injuries
- The limits of the applicable insurance policies
- Your medical bills and expected costs
- How much income you’ve lost due to the injury
- Whether you contributed to the accident in any way
- Existing history of headaches before the head injury
- Your attorney’s ability to show how the headaches negatively impact your life
It’s always in your best interest to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who’s familiar with car accident-related head trauma. Not only will they know how to present your case, but they can work with experts (like neurologists and accident reconstructionists) to prove that your chronic headaches are related to the car crash.
Getting Compensation for Car Accident Headaches and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Depending on the specifics of your case, your compensation could range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Taking certain steps now can increase your chances of getting a settlement that’s fair and truly helpful.
- Hang on to any records you have of the traumatic event itself. This includes pictures, witness statements, and a written account of what you remember.
- Gather documentation of your financial losses related to the injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and expected treatment costs.
- Keep track of how the auto accident and head pain impact your life. This could be a daily note about your struggles or a list of things you can no longer do that you used to enjoy.
- Don’t talk about your injuries and other symptoms on social media. The insurance company could take anything you say and twist it to reduce a settlement offer.
- Seek medical care as needed and keep all of your doctor appointments. Follow the instructions provided by your medical team to show you’re doing what you can to heal.
- Work closely with an attorney who knows how to negotiate for a settlement amount that will help you rebuild and move on with your life.
Causes of Post Traumatic Headaches
Car accident post-traumatic headaches often start to occur within the two-week period following the trauma. The good news is that most of these headaches will resolve within six months. However, 10-20% of them never resolve.
Part of securing fair compensation for your headaches and head injuries will be carefully explaining what exactly caused the pain, as well as the specific symptoms you’re experiencing—such as visual disturbances, neck pain, or even brain damage. Headaches are the most common physical manifestation of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Here are some of the main causes and symptoms of headaches after a car accident:
Whiplash headaches are common after car accidents. The whipping, back-and-forth motion of the neck can cause muscle strain that radiates through soft tissue into the head. This kind of headache might take days or weeks to get really bad, but often starts at the base of the skull and can cause a stiff neck, memory and concentration issues, and trouble sleeping.
Fracture headaches happen when a sudden force is enough to break the skull or neck. Even if these broken bones aren’t serious enough to cause brain injuries, they can still lead to persistent headaches. People with fracture headaches might experience slurred speech, confusion, nausea, or even seizures.
Pinched nerve headaches happen due to compression around the spinal nerves, especially the greater occipital nerve at the base of the skull. A herniated disk, swollen neck muscles, and other complications can pinch nerves at their roots, causing pain, tingling, numbness, and burning up the back of the head.
Concussion headaches are just one symptom of this sort of TBI. If the impact of the auto accident causes your brain to hit the inner wall of your skull and become bruised or even bleed, you could experience intense headaches—along with memory loss, light sensitivity, nausea, ear ringing, sound sensitivity, and confusion. If you’re experiencing headaches after the expected recovery period, you may have post-concussion syndrome.
It’s true that certain medications, such as birth control or heart drugs, can cause headaches, and lawyers representing the at-fault driver may try to use that against your claim. Be aware that overuse of typical pain drugs, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, may cause so-called rebound headaches when used too much.
Insurance companies are quick to deny migraine headaches caused by a car accident. Many neurologists also don’t believe that migraines can be related to car accidents. They might claim migraines are genetic disorders that run in the family, particularly if the headache occurs on one side of the head.
The reality of it is that many post-accident headaches have migraine features. It’s essential to know exactly what type of headache you are experiencing, so the defense doesn’t dismiss your case because you think it’s a migraine. Your lawyer can help you navigate this challenge to your case.
Because of his work as a chiropractor, Harry Brown has a unique perspective and understanding of post-traumatic headaches and their settlement values. Count on him to present this serious injury in an effective manner.
RELATED: How to Prove You Have Whiplash — and How a Lawyer Can Help
The Brown Firm Fights for Headache Sufferers After Car Crashes
If you or someone you love is dealing with constant headaches after a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney who puts their clients first. We start all personal injury cases with a free consultation so we can get to know you and your story before determining the best plan forward.
To schedule your free case evaluation today, call us at (800) 529-1441 or use the simple contact form on our website.
Why do I have a headache after my car accident? (2020, Jan. 30). AICA Orthopedics. Retrieved from https://aica.com/why-do-i-have-a-headache-after-my-car-accident/
Why you shouldn’t ignore headaches after a car accident. (n.d.). Pain Care Specialists of Florida. Retrieved from https://painconsults.com/why-you-shouldn-t-ignore-headaches-after-a-car-accident/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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