Headaches occurring after a car accident can be a sign of serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine. Although headaches after a car accident are not unusual, they should not be taken lightly.
Headaches After a Car Crash
When a car crash occurs, the sudden impact may cause headaches, even if a person’s head does not suffer a blow. Vehicles traveling at high speeds can cause people in the car to twist or turn quickly during impact. This sudden body movement often causes injury to the head, neck, back, and spine. Headaches that begin after a car crash are common in certain types of injuries:
Whiplash is a neck injury caused when the neck is overextended or pushed suddenly in an awkward position. Although whiplash injuries commonly cause sprained neck muscles or ligaments, Chicago car accident lawyers often see more serious injuries to the vertebrae and spinal cord.
Headaches from a whiplash injury usually begin within a week after a car crash. Common symptoms include a stiff neck, numbness or tingling sensations, dizziness, and memory loss. Although whiplash headaches may heal on their own, they can be a sign of serious underlying conditions. Anyone who experiences headaches after a car crash should seek medical attention, especially if headaches continue or worsen after two weeks.
A sudden blow to the head often results in a concussion injury which may lead to swelling of the brain. Concussion injuries may have few or no apparent symptoms for days or even weeks after a car accident occurs. When symptoms do present, they often include headaches, nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, ringing in the ears, mental confusion, and memory loss.
Concussion injuries require proper medical diagnosis and treatment to prevent dangerous complications. Headaches that last longer than six weeks may indicate post-concussion syndrome, a medical condition related to serious head and brain injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
If the head suffers a blow during a car crash, the brain may suffer tissue and cell damages, leading to physical and mental problems. TBI symptoms usually manifest within several hours or days after injury with headaches, dizziness or balance problems, tremors, mood changes, sleep changes, and blurred vision.
Chicago car accident lawyers see mild or moderate brain injuries when injury victims lose consciousness after a crash, but serious TBI may require surgery to repair damages to brain tissue and blood vessels.