Headaches after a car accident are common, especially if the accident resulted in the person hitting their head or getting whiplash. Headaches that occur following car accidents are called post-traumatic headaches. For some people, the head pain is noticed right away but for others, the headaches don’t show up until a few hours or days have passed.
Many car accident victims experience post-traumatic headaches and especially if they were involved in rear-end collisions. In many cases, these headaches are problematic for months, years and sometimes for a lifetime. Post traumatic headaches are typically one of two types: tension headaches that may occur daily or episodic and migraine headaches that are more severe.
If you’re experiencing headaches after a car accident, you should seek prompt medical attention to help determine what is causing your headaches. Seeing a doctor also will help protect your legal rights regarding seeking compensation for your losses such as medical costs incurred due to the accident you were involved in. The sooner you seek medical treatment the better as it will be easier for a doctor to establish that the accident is what’s causing your headaches. Another benefit of promptly seeking medical attention is that it will be more difficult for an insurance company to claim that something other than the car accident is causing your headaches.
Your doctor may order some diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your headaches. You also may be referred to a neurologist or other specialist. Be sure to keep all appointments and be proactive pertaining to your medical treatment. If you do decide to pursue an injury claim against the party who was at-fault for the accident, you will need to have documentation in the form of treatment records and medical bills.
Importance of Record-Keeping
In addition to collecting documentation related to your treatment and medical expenses, it’s also important to keep records of any symptoms you are experiencing after the accident. These records can greatly assist your doctor in providing you with better treatment and it will help establish the severity of the pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your headaches. When keeping records of your headaches, be sure to include how long the headaches last, the pain level and what activities you were forced to alter or stop doing because of the pain. Remember to note the date and time of each headache episode you experience. This information will be very valuable when negotiating a compensation settlement or in court if your case goes to trial.
Often times, people who suffer from post-traumatic headaches report that the pain is very disruptive and decreases their enjoyment of life. This often leads to difficulty in dealing with home and work life. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from post-traumatic headaches after car accidents are not taken seriously by others as many people think they are exaggerating the pain. This often causes the headache sufferer to experience a great deal of stress and anxiety which only compounds the problems they are having.
Treatment for Post Traumatic Headaches
Treatment of post traumatic headaches can involve medication, physical therapy, psychological counseling and relaxation/biofeedback therapy. Medication is the most used treatment for post traumatic headaches. Most patients are prescribed muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. Antidepressant medications and/or beta blockers are often prescribed to patients suffering from post-traumatic headaches as a preventative measure.
Damages for Post Traumatic Headaches
You will only be able to claim damages for post traumatic headaches as part of a personal injury case if your doctor believes and determines that your headaches are related to the accident and documents that in his or her medical records. If your doctor does not believe that your headaches were caused by the accident, you won’t be able to claim damages for the injury. If this occurs, you can find another doctor who does believe (and documents) the headaches are a result of the accident so that you can file an injury claim.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
Post traumatic headache sufferers who file personal injury claims almost always demand compensation for pain and suffering. In order to make a claim for pain and suffering, you will need to explain how your headaches are negatively affecting your life, how long they last and how severe the pain is in order to win. Pain and suffering encompasses not only physical pain but also emotional and mental suffering such as fear, insomnia, anxiety, depression and the loss of the enjoyment of life. You can provide evidence of your pain and suffering through documentation such as a personal journal that records your physical and emotional feelings. Showing proof that you have sought the treatment from a mental health professional can also prove helpful and is necessary if you are claiming injuries such as anxiety and depression.
The San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Hogan Injury can assist you in building a strong case to help ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured. We understand all the implications surrounding post traumatic headaches and realize how this type of pain can change lives. We work hard to assist our clients in obtaining all the compensation they deserve and need when they’ve been injured in accidents caused by others.