What Should I Do If I have Headaches After a Car Accident?
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A car accident may not only damage your car, but it can also cause physical injuries. Even a minor accident can lead to chronic pains that last until death. Fortunately, there is a possibility that car accident victims may receive compensation for pain that lasts beyond the accident itself. However, it is important that car accident victims follow certain steps to make sure that they can receive the greatest amount of compensation possible.
What Should I Do If I Have Headaches After a Car Accident?
If you have headaches after a car accident, be sure to go to a medical professional as quickly as possible. Headaches can be a sign of something more serious or life-threatening. You should not wait it out or try to treat it yourself.
Reasons Why Head Injuries and Headaches Are Missed After an Accident
Many people may feel fine after a car accident. However, if you undergo a car accident, do not be fooled if you feel fine immediately after the accident. Indeed, you may not feel so fine hours or days later. Note that during and after a car crash, your body generally releases a substantial amount of adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can decrease the pain you feel after incurring an injury. Once the adrenaline and cortisol levels decrease, however, you will start to feel the pain. Thus, if you do not have a headache immediately after an accident, do not think you are in the clear.
Another reason why car accident victims do not think that they need to go to a doctor after receiving a head injury is that parts of their brain compensate for the damaged parts of their brain. There have been scientific studies of young people who have severely injured one half of their brain but function relatively normally. Scientists have found that the brain is extremely versatile in overcoming injuries. However, this also means that car accident victims may have suffered a severe injury to a part of their brain but not know it because they are able to function normally.
Sometimes, a head injury is not discovered after a car accident because it is not very clear to a doctor that someone has received a head injury. After all, our brains are inside our skulls. It is not something that we can see, like a broken bone. In some cases, doctors mistake a head injury for another injury. A head injury can sometimes cause pain in the neck and spine, causing car injury victims to think that their injury is not related to their head.
Reasons a Car Accident Could Cause Regular Headaches
There are many reasons why a headache can occur due to a car accident. Below is a list of some of the causes.
When the neck and head suffer trauma from a car accident, post-traumatic headaches can occur. Neck pain can travel to the head and cause a headache. Post-traumatic headaches generally occur within hours to days after the car accident.
Concussion headaches occur due to direct injury to the brain. Direct injury means a blow or sudden jolt of the head. Common symptoms of concussion headaches are anxiety, memory loss, irritability, dizziness, sleep problems, and depression.
Enough force from a car accident can cause the skull to fracture. In such cases, there can be immense pain arising from the injury site due to the fracture. Along with pain from the fracture itself, a constant headache can also be associated with the fracture.
Though perhaps not as serious as some of the other headaches listed above, you should be aware that the stress you undergo due to a car accident can also cause headaches.
Can I File a Lawsuit Because of my headaches?
You may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your headaches that result from a car accident. Note that you can be compensated for future and present pain in a successful car accident lawsuit.
What to Do After a Car Accident?
1. Seek Medical Attention
Get to a medical professional immediately after a car accident. As noted above, many victims do not immediately feel the full extent of their injuries because of the adrenaline rush they experience after an accident. Unfortunately, once a victim decides to file a car accident claim after he or she starts to feel pain, he or she may have a much more difficult time with an insurance company. If a victim decides to file a claim against the driver responsible for their injuries once they start feeling pain, the driver’s insurance company will argue that the victim is lying about or faking his or her injuries because the victim did not immediately go to the hospital to seek treatment. Do not put yourself into this predicament. Visit the doctor immediately after a car accident.
2. Document the Accident
To be successful in a car accident claim, you have the burden of proof to show that the other driver was negligent. This simply means that you must present evidence that the other driver was indeed negligent. Evidence may include photographs, medical bills, or witness statements.
After an accident, if you are able, document evidence from the scene of the accident. In a car accident, the police will generally write a report of the accident. However, you may want to do your own investigation. Be sure to get the name, address, license number, plate number, and insurance information from all the drivers involved in the accident. Also, if a driver involved in the accident was driving for an employer at the time of the accident, you should obtain the name and contact information of the driver’s employer as well.
Witness testimony is often very important in car accident cases. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also get the names and contact information of the witnesses. If any of the witnesses took photographs or video recordings of the accident, ask them for copies. If you have a camera at the scene of the accident, take some photographs of the scene.
3. Keep Receipts and Invoices
You should keep and archive any receipts of expenses that arise from the car accident. For instance, you should never throw away medical bill receipts. If, as a result of the car accident, you cannot work, you should also retain paystubs to show how much “lost wages” you incurred.
4. Notify Your Insurance Company
Whenever you are involved in an accident, you should always contact your insurance company since your insurance company may be able to compensate you for your loss. However, do not admit that the accident was your fault. If your insurance company asks you to record a statement, politely refuse.
Common Car Accident Causes
Making a Car Accident Claim
1. Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Filing a personal injury claim can be physically and mentally taxing. An experienced lawyer may help you make the process of filing a claim less exhausting by taking some of the heaviest responsibilities off your shoulders.
Once you file a claim with a court, a judge may set a date for a trial, but also order you into mediation in which the parties to try to compromise without going to trial.
If mediation fails to achieve an agreement between the parties, your case will move into the discovery or investigative phase. In this stage, collect all of the relevant documents and evidence necessary to file a claim. These include medical bills, witness statements, official reports, employment reports, etc. This stage is also where depositions will occur. Depositions are essentially formal witness interviews conducted by lawyers.
4. Case Settlement
Case settlement may occur at the mediation phase, but case settlement may also occur during the discovery/investigative stage. If an insurance company sends you an offer, be sure to discuss the offer with your lawyer. Do not simply accept the offer as your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the insurance company for a more favorable offer.
If, after discovery, no settlement is reached, then your case will go to trial. Two types of trials exist: bench and jury. Bench trials are trials where the judge will hear the evidence, apply the laws applicable in your case, and make a ruling. In jury trials, the jury decides the outcome.
CONTACT OUR HEADACHE INJURY LAWYERS
The experienced car accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you if you have headaches after a car accident. We believe victims shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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