You were in a car accident. Fortunately, you seem to be okay. You have no broken bones or organ injuries. Sure, you have a few aches and pains, but overall, you escaped intact.
And then the headaches start.
At first, it seems understandable. It was a traumatic accident. You’ve been through a lot of stress. A few headaches aren’t surprising.
But they don’t go away. They keep coming back and they’re starting to interfere with your recovery, your work, and your quality of life.
What’s going on?
If you experience headaches after a car accident, check with your doctor—and your personal injury attorney—right away. It could be that you suffered from a more serious injury than you thought.
What’s Causing My Post-Accident Headache?
Headaches are not only painful and debilitating, they can be signs of a concussion or serious traumatic brain injury. Sometimes victims start experiencing the headaches right away, but other times, the effects of the accident can be delayed by hours or even days after the wreck.
There may be many potential reasons why you may be experiencing headaches, including the following:
- Muscle strain/spasm: A car accident can strain the muscles in your neck, head, and upper back, which can lead to headaches later on. This type of headache will often include a tense or tight feeling in the back of the neck, difficulty turning your head, tenderness in the area, and redness and swelling.
- Whiplash: If you were hit from behind or ran into someone, you may have suffered whiplash, which occurs when the neck muscles and ligaments are strained by the sudden forced movement. In addition to the headaches, you may also feel neck pain and stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.
- Pinched nerve: If one of the nerves in your upper neck was compressed or pinched as a result of the accident, it could cause pain, tenderness, burning, and numbness at the base of the skull.
- Fracture: If your skull or one of the bones in your neck was fractured, that can lead to headaches, as well as pain at the injury site.
- Concussion: A sudden jolt or blow to the head can cause a concussion—when the brain strikes the skull walls. This can cause headaches, confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, and sleep problems.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): This is caused by sudden trauma that damages the brain. A concussion is a type of TBI but is considered a mild form. Moderate to severe TBIs are more serious than concussions, but symptoms can be vague and vary from person to person.
Why It Helps to Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Injuries like these can fail to show up immediately after your accident, but they can affect your life for a long time to come. You may face increased medical care and expenses, and you should be reimbursed for these expenses.
A personal injury attorney can help you prove that your injury is related to the accident, and will fight for your rights to compensation. The important thing is not to ignore how you feel. Check with your doctor immediately, then consider hiring an attorney to help you interview witnesses, collect medical records and police reports, and represent your interests in your case.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.