Lyons Snyder & Collin. Trial Attorneys.


Headache After a Car Accident – Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?

By Philip M. Snyder

Headache After a Car Accident  – Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?

After a car accident, many accident victims can expect to suffer from a variety of ailments including sore, stiff and/or achy neck and back muscles.  What accident victims may not be aware is that neck and back injuries are oftentimes accompanied by headaches.  In my experience, many times these accident victims are not terribly concerned about their headaches as they believe the headaches will simply “go away” without medical treatment– this is poor assumption.

During a car accident (especially a rear-end collision), an accident victim’s head is violently “whipped” violently forward then backward.   This movement places significant stress (trauma) on the muscles and tendons that make up the cervical spine (the section of the spine that rotates, flexes, and extends the neck and support the head).

Within hours (or sometimes days) of an accident, the victim may experience dull, aching head pain, tightness and/or pressure across the forehead, tightness and pressure in the back of the skull and/or tenderness in the neck.  These headaches can last for days or even weeks or months.

In severe instances, the accident victim can exhibit loss of memory, dizziness, confusion, blind spots, slurred speech, vomiting and black outs.  These signs could be indicative of a closed-head injury and require immediate medical attention.

In cases where the accident victim suffers a blow to the head (i.e. hits head on steering wheel or door) and especially when the accident victim is symptomatic for a concussion (see above), the accident victim must immediately seek emergency medical attention for a potentially closed-head injury.

Accident victims can exhibit chronic and debilitating headaches even in relatively low-impact crashes (especially rear end collisions).
The bottom line, a headache is often a tell-tale sign that a larger problem looms as the pain is usually a byproduct of soft tissue damage to the ligaments and muscles of the neck and may involve cervical disc damage and possibly nerve root compression.    Accident victims oftentimes benefit from chiropractic treatment to realign the spine and alleviate the pressure.  The chiropractor can also help diagnose the cause of the headache and determine if a more serious issue (i.e. herniated disc, nerve root compression) exists.

The personal injury attorneys such as Lyons, Snyder & Collin routinely encounter car accident victims with similar ailments and are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss their options and determine if they are entitled to financial compensation for the negligence of another.

As such, it is in your benefit to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney at Lyons, Snyder & Collin immediately following any car accident, especially in rear-end collision and/or when headaches are present.