Drawing the Link Between Car Accidents and Post-traumatic Headaches

Car accidents have long been a threat to American lives. Even after following traffic regulations and practicing road discipline, all it takes is one rogue driver for things to take a turn, a disheartening reality for many Americans.

While there have been many efforts to understand the consequences of road accidents and help victims, the realm of post-traumatic headaches and migraines still remains ambiguous for many reasons. This comprehensive blog seeks to demystify Post Traumatic Headaches (PTHA) and migraines. Have a read below.

What are Post-Traumatic Headaches?

As you can infer from the name, post-traumatic headaches are headaches that begin after a traumatic car accident. Medically speaking, PTHA begins within seven days of an accident or within seven days after the victim has regained consciousness should they have lost consciousness after the accident.

The headache may be accompanied by other symptoms such as light sensitivity, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, nausea, and mood disorders. It is also important to note that victims who were already suffering from migraines before the accident may have their symptoms aggravated.

But how exactly can an accident cause PTHA? To understand this, we have to analyze what happens to vehicle occupants in the occurrence of a road accident. The sudden impact and ensuing inertia may cause their heads to hit something inside the car. It may be a window, the steering wheel, or any other object inside the vehicle causing traumatic brain injury.

On top of that, the head can also make a swift forward and backward movement upon impact, which is what is known as whiplash. In both of these instances, the sudden movement may cause the brain to slam against the skull, which may cause microscopic injury to brain tissue, which is what causes the migraines.

Existing Research on PTHA

One of the reasons why victims of PTHA following road accidents suffer is because this area is poorly understood and there is minimal research conducted. But from the existing research, one thing is clear, there exists a clear connection between traumatic brain injuries and whiplash and PTHA.

One particular study found a relation between PTHA and victims of TBIs where more than 71 percent of the study participants reported suffering headaches in the year following their injuries. This study also concluded that the severity of the TBI did not affect whether victims developed PTHA.

In another study, it was clear that there exists a relation between whiplash and PTHA where six months following injury, headache was the main complaint among victims of whiplash following car accidents.

The Need for an Attorney

Personal injury lawsuits involving headaches and migraines following car accidents can be difficult. 

As attorney Jim Onder of OnderLaw says, “Headaches and migraine injuries can result from low-speed accidents even when there is minimal impact on the vehicle. Additionally, objective tests such as CT scans may be negative and the only proof is the victim's complaint.”

Another reason why these cases are difficult is because there is no standard medication for migraines as different drugs may have varying effects for different people. And when the migraines did not start immediately after the accident, proving they resulted from the incident may be difficult.

This is the fundamental reason why you need an attorney that is well-equipped with knowledge of PTHA. They will be able to fight for your case, linking your situation with existing research and advocating for compensation.

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