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Headaches After a Car Accident: Can I Still Make a Claim?

moderate or severe headacheAnyone involved in a serious car accident should immediately seek medical attention. Sometimes the seriousness of injuries isn’t apparent for several days. That headache you developed after the car accident may be an indication of something much more severe than a tension headache.

Suppose you have experienced headaches after a car accident. In that case, even if the collision happened at a lower speed (like five mph), you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your injuries.

What to Do After an Accident

The health and safety of anyone involved in an accident should take precedence. If you’re involved in a car accident, move your vehicle out of traffic and onto the shoulder. You should also turn your car off. Once you’ve minimized the chance that no secondary car accidents can occur, exchange information and call the police. A police report can provide additional evidence for your case.

Even if you don’t feel hurt right away, document everything. Sometimes pain from trauma only occurs days later. It’s a good idea to go to a doctor in any case, as even something as seemingly minor as headaches after a car accident can indicate a serious injury.

To make an accurate claim, keep track of all medical treatment expenses, including out-of-pocket costs like co-pays, visits to doctors and other medical specialists, and even prescriptions. Follow your doctor’s orders. Even if you feel okay, too much physical activity after an auto accident can cause additional injury and complicate your claim.

Keep all receipts, as these will help you receive full and fair compensation. Be wary when speaking to insurance company representatives, even your insurer. Their job is to pay out as little as possible to victims, and they will try to minimize the seriousness of your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Hardy Wolf & Downing know how serious headaches after a car accident can be, so it’s often a good idea to seek legal representation after an injury as well.

An experienced car accident attorney will tell you if you’ve got a case and will seek to negotiate a fair settlement with the responsible parties’ insurer to cover your expenses. Though most auto accident claims are settled, sometimes they go to trial, mainly if there’s an argument over the claim’s seriousness.

In these cases, having a detailed accident report allows victims to recall all the crash specifics and provides an official document from which the court will make its decision. Other sources include passenger testimony, eyewitnesses, or even roadside cameras.

Is it Normal to Have Headaches After a Car Accident?

Experiencing headaches after a car accident is common, though these headaches can occur for various reasons. Some people who experience headaches regularly may notice that their headaches become more consistent and painful. For others, the headaches may only occur later.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information notes that secondary headaches often occur after car accidents or other trauma within seven days of the injury. Such headaches also can reveal themselves in more serious car accidents within a seven-day window after regaining consciousness or recovering sensation. Some patients even report secondary headaches after a car accident up to a year after the injury occurred.

Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

Diagnosing post-traumatic headaches after car accidents may involve an MRI or CT scan. This helps identify bleeding inside the brain, along with swelling or shrinking of specific brain structures after an injury.

Headaches after car accidents often occur due to muscles that tense during injury. Narrowed blood vessels keep blood from flowing to your head normally.

Sometimes these post-traumatic headaches after car accidents feel like migraines, and their intensity can range from moderate to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Pain worsening after activity
  • Pulsing pain
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Vomiting

Other times, post-traumatic headaches after car accidents feel more like tension headaches, tend not to occur after activity and are less painful.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Memory problems
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Trouble sleeping

Other types of headaches after car accidents or other trauma can result from damage to the neck. These are called cervicogenic headaches, which also mimic tension, migraine, or even cluster headaches. Pain tends to occur:

  • Extends to back and shoulder blades
  • In the forehead area
  • Near the base of the skull
  • On one side of the head

Other indications include:

  • Arm and shoulder pain occur on same side as headache
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Stiff neck
  • Triggered due to sudden neck movement

Typical non-pharmaceutical therapies for post-traumatic headaches after car accidents include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Speech therapy

Medications your doctor may prescribe:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-seizure drugs
  • Blood pressure medication

Whatever therapies or prescriptions your doctors might prescribe, make sure you follow their advice. If you’ve experienced headaches after a car accident, contact the Maine personal injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf and Downing to assess your claim. They will help you get the compensation you are owed.

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