Headaches After a Car Crash: When to Worry About a Brain Injury

headache after car crash

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of brain injuries or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), often resulting from the sudden jolt or impact that can cause the brain to collide with the skull. TBIs can range from concussions to severe brain damage, each with its own set of symptoms and consequences.

After any type of car accident, you should take any symptoms you feel seriously, particularly headaches, as they may be indicative of an underlying brain injury. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to long-term health complications or permanent damage, but seeking immediate medical attention could reduce the risk of those complications significantly.

TBIs & Car Accidents

Car accidents of all sorts can lead to traumatic brain injuries, like rollovers, rear-end collisions, T-bones, and so on. Even low-speed collisions can cause a TBI, as abrupt deceleration or acceleration can be enough to cause a sudden jolt of the brain to the inside of the skull, which may in turn cause brain damage. In many cases, a brain injury after a car accident won’t be immediately apparent. Instead, subtle symptoms will show first, commonly headaches. Again, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is always recommended.

Recognizing the Signs of TBIs

After a car accident, do your best to recognize the signs of a brain injury and take any symptoms you do notice seriously. Even seemingly minor symptoms can indicate a serious underlying problem.

Signs and Symptoms of TBI

  • Headache
  • Loss of Consciousness
    • Though one can still have a mTBI and never lose consciousness
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Sensory changes (e.g., blurred vision, ringing in ears)

If you feel any symptoms or pain, including a headache, see a medical professional as soon as possible, preferably within the hour. Do you feel fine, but the crash was violent or intense? See a doctor, anyway. Adrenaline or nerves might be masking symptoms that will show up hours or even days later.

Importance of Immediate Medical Attention

Early medical intervention is important for diagnosing the extent of the injury and initiating appropriate treatment. When treatments are provided early enough, it may help prevent complications and improve prognoses and recovery outcomes. Your doctor or primary care physician will likely discuss a few different options to first test if you have a brain injury, and what they would like to do to treat it if one is detected.

Diagnostic processes that may identify a brain injury in a patient are:

  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Diffuse Tensor Imaging
  • Neurological exams
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Untreated traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can lead to a mix of serious health problems, affecting both physical and cognitive functions. Prolonged headaches, dizziness, and memory problems are common, which can interfere with daily activities and overall quality of life. Additionally, untreated TBIs can result in long-term complications such as chronic pain, mental health issues like depression and anxiety, and in severe cases, permanent neurological damage.

Documenting Your Brain Injury Helps Your Claim

Keeping detailed medical records after you suffer a TBI or TBI symptoms after a car accident can help with any potential legal claims or lawsuits you want to file later. A clear and comprehensive medical record provides evidence of the injury and its impact on your day-to-day life, which can be invaluable when preparing a strong case with your lawyer. Your medical records help establish the extent of your injuries, the necessary treatments, and any long-term effects, so your attorney can then better argue for the compensation that you need to start recovering or “becoming whole” again.

Useful medical documents that could benefit your car accident claim or TBI lawsuit are:

  • Doctor’s notes
  • Diagnostic test results
  • Treatment plans
  • Hospital discharge summaries
  • Prognosis reports
  • Many others

See a Doctor Then Call a Lawyer

If you have a headache or any other painful symptoms after a car accident, please see a doctor immediately, as these could be signs of a serious condition such as a traumatic brain injury. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment are essential for your health and recovery, so don’t delay.

After seeing a doctor, especially if you have been diagnosed with a serious injury, you should reach out to a local attorney as soon as possible. Legal professionals can help protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve, all while you focus on rest and recovery. If you live in Athens, start by connecting with The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC and our team of attorneys. We’re always standing by to help new and returning clients with difficult cases, like those involving brain injuries and car accidents.

For a free consultation, dial (706) 760-9220 now.

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