Head injuries are very serious and potentially deadly injuries that you might suffer in a car accident. Even a mild collision that causes you to hit your head on the steering wheel, dash, or against a window could result in a serious head injury.
If you survive an accident and feel reasonably well immediately afterward, you still might be in danger of a head injury. Many injuries, including head injuries, could have delayed symptoms that you will not notice for a few hours or possibly a few days.
Accident survivors commonly experience shock, which can numb the body and mask painful symptoms of an injury. After the shock and initial numbness wear off, the symptoms could reveal themselves. Migraine headaches could be among those symptoms.
What Are Common Causes of Post-Accident Migraines?
If you are knocked out during a car accident, the trauma could cause an immediate headache or migraine. But you might experience migraines and other headaches even if you suffered no apparent head injury.
Delayed migraines and headaches often have common causes due to car accidents. Those common causes include:
- Pinched nerve
- Prescription medication
A whiplash injury happens when a blow from the side or behind suddenly and violently forces your head to move in a different direction. That causes the neck to endure a whiplike motion that can cause a lot of damage to soft tissue.
A whiplash injury often heals after a few days, but could last for several months. The pain radiating from a whiplash injury could trigger headaches and migraines.
You also might suffer from a pinched nerve. The nerve endings could send painful signals to the brain that cause you to experience a migraine or recurring headaches.
A concussion is a commonly occurring traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even a mild concussion could result in delayed headaches and migraines. A TBI injury does not always reveal itself right away unless it is accompanied by a skull fracture or similar injury.
Some prescription medications also might trigger migraines. But that is a side effect that does not necessarily indicate a potentially serious latent injury.
A medication-related headache often is caused by a rebound effect from taking commonly prescribed pain medication. Even over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, could cause rebound headaches.
Head Injuries Often Trigger High Costs
Your headaches might be caused by a head injury. An MRI could help to determine whether you have a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) or are just experiencing normal side effects from an accident.
Even if you walked away from a car accident, a TBI might lead to a comatose condition. Even if it does not, the costs of a TBI are often high.
Northwestern University researchers say a TBI typically produces medical and injury-related costs that range from $85,000 to $3 million. Those costs include medical care, lost wages, and ongoing treatment to help TBI victims to recover from their head injuries.
Many people fully recover and can resume work after some time away from it. Those are among the lower-cost TBI victims. Others might have long-lasting or permanent disabilities or other physical and mental consequences from their head injuries. Some of those cases could trigger high costs that could surpass $3 million.
Migraines and Headaches Add to Your Pain and Suffering
A migraine can be painful and debilitating. Many people who suffer from migraines and other headaches cannot work or engage in their daily routines while suffering from a migraine.
That same pain and suffering should count toward any insurance settlement that might arise from your car accident. It is crucial to document any delayed headaches or migraines that you might experience after surviving a car accident.
“Pain and suffering” is an important element of injury-related insurance claims. But most insurers are highly skeptical of claims related to migraine headaches.
Insurers Often Deny Claims Related to Migraines
Unfortunately, many insurers automatically deny claims that are related to migraine headaches. Unless you have an obvious head injury, such as a skull fracture, an insurer could deny your claims for pain and suffering due to migraines.
Many insurers say migraines are not related to car accident injuries, or dismiss them as a genetic condition. Some might say there is no evidence that directly to migraines to car accidents.
But that does not mean you cannot prevail. Careful daily documentation of your condition can help to establish the timing of the migraines and the extent of pain.
Important to Identify the Type of Headache Pain
Because post-accident headaches often have common causes, it could be possible to better determine how your headaches are directly related to the accident. Headaches caused by pinched nerves or whiplash could be tied directly to the accident.
If you are diagnosed with a TBI such as a concussion, that could result in migraine headache pain. Medication-related headaches could be tied directly to the accident.
You also should document the extent to which migraines and other headaches interfere with your daily activities. If you cannot work or resume your normal activities due to post-accident headaches and migraines, that shows an obvious effect.
How Could a Car Accident Lawyer Help?
When you retain a car accident attorney, you get the attention of insurers. An experienced attorney could help to gather and present evidence that strongly supports your claims.
That will make it more difficult for an insurer to simply deny claims that are related to post-accident headaches. The insurer no longer can contact you directly and must work with your attorney to communicate and process claims.
Your attorney can help to argue for pain and suffering and other accident-related damages. And if a lawsuit is needed to get an insurer to pay fair compensation, an attorney can file it properly and present strong evidence.
A West Chester Car Accident Lawyer at Eckell Sparks Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Can Help You Gain Just Compensation
If you recently survived a car accident but are having issues with insurers, an experienced West Chester car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you to build a strong claim and case. You can call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our law offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania. We represent clients in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and throughout Pennsylvania.