Is a Headache Normal After a Car Accident?

Suffering a headache after a car accident is normal. However, the fact that it is common does not mean there is no reason to be concerned. Headaches after a car accident can be a symptom of a much more serious underlying condition. If you start to experience headaches after being involved in a motor vehicle crash, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Is a headache normal after a car accident?

Yes, headaches are frequently reported by car accident victims.  Even among those who are involved in relatively minor, low-impact accidents. Headaches can start immediately after the accident, or they can take several days to appear.

Symptoms may include:

  • A dull, achy head pain
  • A feeling of tightness or pressure across your forehead or the sides and back of your head
  • Scalp, neck, or shoulder tenderness
  • Loss of appetite

Neurologists typically refer to headaches caused by car accidents as “post-traumatic” headaches. Common types of post-traumatic headaches among car accident victims include:

  • Post-concussive headaches
  • Musculoskeletal headaches
  • Vascular headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Cluster headaches
  • Migraines
  • Muscle-contractions/spasms
  • Chronic facial pain 
  • Nerve dysfunction 
  • Occipital neuralgia

What if I have a constant headache after a car accident?

It is also common for victims to suffer a constant headache after a car accident. These ongoing headaches are usually caused by head or neck trauma during the car accident, such as whiplash or a direct blow to the head. 

Accident injuries that commonly cause trauma-induced headaches:

  • Striking your head on a solid object such as a steering wheel, dashboard, or window
  • Pinched nerves in the spine or the base of the skull
  • Muscle tears, strains and spasms of the neck and upper back
  • Spinal or skull fractures

What if I get a headache 2 or 3 days after a car accident?

After a motor vehicle crash, headaches can appear hours, days, or even a week later, so it is not uncommon for victims to get a headache 2 or 3 days after a car accident. These types of headaches are often a symptom of another injury you suffered during the crash. Whether a headache starts right after the accident or several days later, you should not ignore it. Headaches can be symptoms of an undiagnosed serious injury like traumatic brain injury or concussion. 

When should I go to the emergency room?

You should take an ambulance to the emergency room from the scene of the accident even if you don’t feel like you are severely injured. You could have suffered serious injuries that have yet to manifest. After a traumatic incident like a car accident adrenaline floods your system, which can prevent pain signals from reaching your brain. Some injuries are not apparent right after the crash and specifically head injuries may go undiagnosed. 

If you are experiencing headaches after a car crash it’s essential that you seek immediate medical attention. Any delay in treatment could impact your recovery. And early documentation of your injury can strengthen your insurance claim or personal injury case.

Should I contact my insurance company?

Yes, you should contact your insurance company after a car accident. Most car insurance policies include clauses that require that you report any accidents you are involved in, even if you are not at fault. While it’s always a good idea to contact your insurer within 72 hours of an accident, your policy may include specific deadlines for when crashes must be reported. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you should promptly review your insurance policy to ensure you follow the relevant deadlines. 

When should I contact a car accident lawyer?

After a motor vehicle crash, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Experienced personal injury attorneys can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, take your case to court, and even help you get the medical treatment that you need. The sooner you get a car accident lawyer involved the more they can do to help. It’s vital to your case that you schedule a consultation as soon as possible. 

Do I need a car accident lawyer near me?

While you are not legally required to hire a car accident lawyer to handle your personal injury case, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you secure a higher settlement from the insurance companies. If they refuse to offer a fair settlement, an attorney can take them to court and fight for the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Have questions? We protect victims like you every day.

Call 888-ATTY-911


Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Settlements
How Do Car Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering?
The Victim’s Guide to Car Crash Compensation

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Attorney911 Legal Emergency Lawyers™ legal services is a Texas-based personal injury and criminal defense law firm with offices in Houston and Austin, though we are proud to serve Texans from all over the state and represent clients in federal court. We handle a wide variety of legal issues — from car accidents to worker’s compensation to DUI/DWI offenses. Our staff is bilingual, friendly, and genuinely passionate about helping our clients, whether it’s a million-dollar case or a thousand-dollar case. We also understand that cost can be a prohibitive factor in hiring a lawyer, and are willing to work with you on structuring payment in a way that is fair and feasible. We do accept credit cards for our hourly fees, and take some cases on contingency, which means you don’t pay us unless and until you get paid yourself. We know that you have a choice in your legal representation, and we believe that what makes us stand out from the competition is our real emotional investment in our clients. We see you as a person — not a paycheck. And we will fight hard for you, because we truly care.