Vertigo After a Car Accident

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Can You Get Vertigo From A Car Accident?

Vertigo is a common symptom experienced by many individuals following a car accident. This unsettling sensation of perceived movement, often described as a spinning, tilting, or swaying sensation, can be highly disruptive to one’s daily life. It’s crucial to understand that vertigo is not a condition itself but rather a symptom of underlying issues. Often, it’s a sign of post-traumatic injury to the head or neck, which may occur during a car accident.

If you are feeling dizziness after a car accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you deserve to be justly compensated. The law firm of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel P.C. has been helping car accident victims for over 50 years to receive the compensation they deserve. Contact our experienced legal team immediately to schedule a free consultation.

brain injury patient with head trauma causing vertigo

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a distinct type of dizziness characterized by the feeling that you or your environment is moving or spinning, even though there is no actual movement. People often describe it as severe dizziness. This sensation might be slightly unsteady or give the feeling of severe spinning, causing loss of balance. It’s often accompanied by other symptoms like:

Symptoms of Vertigo:

  • Sensation of movement or spinning
  • Unsteadiness or a loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
  • Nystagmus – abnormal eye movements
  • Difficulty focusing or tracking objects with the eyes
  • Feeling disoriented or confused
  • Fear, anxiety, or panic (symptoms of vertigo can be intense and scary for some people)

Symptoms can last a few minutes to a few hours or more and may come and go.

Vertigo is typically caused by issues with the inner ear or brain and can be a symptom of several different health conditions. It’s critical to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing vertigo, especially following a traumatic event such as a car accident, to pinpoint its cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Is Vertigo Treatable? 

Yes, vertigo is often treatable, but treatment depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include medication to alleviate symptoms or specific exercises and maneuvers to help reposition displaced crystals in the inner ear that can contribute to vertigo. Physical therapy or chiropractic care may also be recommended if there are structural issues with the neck or spine.

How Do Car Accidents Cause Vertigo?

Car accidents can lead to vertigo through a number of mechanisms, most commonly when trauma is inflicted on the head or neck. The violent jerking motion of a car accident can cause a condition known as whiplash, which can damage the neck’s muscles, ligaments, and nerves, leading to vertigo. Additionally, a blow to the head can disrupt the inner ear’s balance mechanisms or cause a concussion, both of which can result in vertigo.

Damage to the inner ear, or vestibular system, can result in a specific type of vertigo known as vestibular vertigo. This system is responsible for providing the brain with information about motion, head position, and spatial orientation; it’s also involved in motor functions that allow us to keep our balance, stabilize our head and body during movement, and maintain posture.

When the vestibular system gets damaged — either through direct trauma or through problems with blood supply as a result of injury — it can send mixed signals to the brain. The brain then receives conflicting information from the other senses, such as the eyes and body, leading to a sense of spinning or unsteadiness — the main symptom of vertigo.

It’s essential for anyone experiencing vertigo following a car accident to seek immediate medical attention. Rapid diagnosis and treatment can help to alleviate symptoms and prevent further complications.

brain scans of a brain injury patient with vertigo

Is It Normal To Feel Vertigo After A Car Crash?

Experiencing vertigo after a car crash is not uncommon. The violent forces involved in car accidents often lead to head or neck injuries, both of which can trigger vertigo. In some cases, vertigo may not present immediately after the accident but may develop hours or even days later. This delay can make it challenging to associate the symptom with the car accident. Regardless, any instance of vertigo — especially in the aftermath of a car accident — should be considered serious and warrant urgent medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can mitigate the severity of symptoms and improve the chances of a swift recovery.

Causes Of Vertigo Following A Car Accident:

Traumatic Brain Injury: A head injury can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can damage the inner ear or vestibular system, causing vertigo.  A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury.  A blow to the head during a car accident can cause a concussion, disrupting the brain’s normal functioning and potentially causing vertigo. A concussion can also damage the inner ear’s balance mechanisms and lead to vertigo.

Trauma to the Inner Ear: The inner ear contains structures vital for maintaining balance. Direct trauma to this area can cause vertigo.

Whiplash: Whiplash, which involves the rapid forward and backward motion of the neck, often happens during car accidents. A whiplash injury can damage the neck’s muscles, ligaments, and nerves, leading to vertigo.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): This condition can occur following a car accident when tiny calcium crystals become dislodged from their normal position in the inner ear, causing vertigo.

Labyrinthitis: This inflammation of the vestibular nerve or the inner ear’s labyrinth can result from traumatic injury to the head or neck during a car accident, leading to vertigo.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): In some cases, vertigo could be a symptom of PTSD. The stress and anxiety following a traumatic event like a car accident can manifest as vertigo.

Delayed Onset of Symptoms: Sometimes, vertigo symptoms may not appear immediately after the accident. They can develop hours or even days later, complicating the process of attributing them to the accident.

Post-Traumatic Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. In some cases, car accidents can trigger this condition or worsen existing symptoms.

Other Causes Of Vertigo Following A Car Accident

While trauma to the head creates some of the most common causes of vertigo after a car crash, several other factors can also contribute to the onset of this unsettling sensation. 

Dehydration: Dehydration can sometimes be a contributing factor to vertigo. In the aftermath of a car crash, individuals may neglect to take adequate fluid intake due to stress, leading to an increased risk of vertigo.

Cervicogenic Injury (Neck Injury): Injury to the cervical spine, known as Cervicogenic Injury, can cause vertigo by affecting the nerves that communicate between the cervical vertebrae and the brain. This type of neck injury often occurs during car accidents due to whiplash or a direct blow to the neck. Neck pain, stiffness, and dizziness are common symptoms of Cervicogenic Injury.

Back Injury: Similarly, injury to the back can result in vertigo. If the spinal cord is damaged, it may hinder the communication between the brain and the sensory nerves in the rest of the body. This can lead to a disconnection in sensory perception, causing the vertigo sensation.

Bruising Or Swelling Of The Brain: Any injury that leads to bruising or swelling of the brain can also cause vertigo. This is because the brain coordinates all the signals coming in from the body, and any disruption can result in balance issues and dizziness.

Spinal Cord Injury: A spinal cord injury from a car accident can interfere with the transmission of signals from the body to the brain, resulting in symptoms of vertigo.

Injury To Temporal Bones: Injury to the temporal bones, which house the inner ear structures, can lead to vertigo. The inner ear is vital for maintaining balance, and any trauma to this area can disrupt that equilibrium. This can also disturb facial muscle control.

It’s important to understand that vertigo is a symptom, not a condition itself. The underlying cause needs to be addressed to effectively treat vertigo. If you experience vertigo after a car accident, seek immediate medical attention to identify the cause and start appropriate treatment.

car accident flipped on the highway

It’s Important to Diagnose a Neck or Head Injury Immediately

In some cases, the symptoms of neck and head injuries may be delayed, or they may not show up immediately. This is why it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident for proper diagnosis and treatment. A physician will conduct tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to identify any potential injuries in the head and neck area. If left untreated, these injuries can lead to long-term complications or even disability.

Treatment Options for Vertigo After a Car Accident

The treatment of vertigo following a car accident may vary depending on its underlying cause. Some common treatment options include: 

  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy involves exercises and activities that help to retrain the brain to recognize and interpret signals from the vestibular system more accurately.
  • Medications such as antihistamines or benzodiazepines may be prescribed to manage symptoms of vertigo.
  • Canalith repositioning maneuvers are a series of specific head movements designed to move dislodged calcium crystals in the inner ear back into their proper position.
  • Surgery may be necessary in cases where vertigo is caused by a structural issue, such as an injury to the vestibular nerve or damage to the inner ear’s structure.

In addition to these treatment options, it’s essential for individuals experiencing vertigo following a car accident to seek emotional support and counseling as needed.

What Should I Do If I Have Vertigo After A Car Accident?

If you’re experiencing vertigo following a car accident, your health should be your first priority. After seeking medical attention, it’s also crucial to consult with a car accident lawyer. This is because vertigo could signal a serious injury that may not have been immediately apparent. A seasoned lawyer can help you understand your rights, guide you through the legal process, and ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Remember, the costs of treating vertigo and its underlying causes can be substantial. Therefore, having a lawyer to advocate on your behalf can be a valuable asset in navigating insurance claims or a lawsuit if the accident was due to someone else’s negligence.

Can I Sue The Driver Who Caused My Injuries? 

If the driver who caused your car accident was reckless or negligent, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This type of legal action seeks compensation for damages resulting from injuries sustained in an accident due to someone else’s actions. If vertigo is one of those injuries, you could potentially receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated costs.

What Damages Can I Recover For Vertigo After A Car Accident?

Recovering from a car accident can be a lengthy and expensive process, especially if you’re dealing with symptoms like vertigo. The damages you may be able to recover for vertigo after a car accident can include:

Medical Expenses: This can cover costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of your vertigo, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, vestibular rehabilitation therapy, and any necessary surgical procedures. 

Lost Wages: If vertigo symptoms make it impossible for you to work, or if you need to take time off for medical appointments and recovery, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost income.

Pain and Suffering: Vertigo can significantly impact your quality of life, causing substantial physical discomfort and emotional distress. In this case, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.

Loss of Consortium: If vertigo has affected your relationship with your spouse or family, you might be able to claim damages for loss of consortium.

Future Medical Expenses: If your vertigo is expected to require long-term treatment or management, you may be able to recover damages for anticipated future medical expenses.

It’s important to consult an experienced car accident lawyer to understand the full scope of damages you may be entitled to recover as a result of your vertigo symptoms after a car accident.

medical bills and pain theme, causes of vertigo

You Deserve Compensation For Car Accident Injuries

Our team of dedicated car accident lawyers is committed to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel P.C., we understand the complexities of personal injury law and can navigate the legal process on your behalf. From gathering evidence, including medical records and accident reports, to negotiating with insurance companies, we handle each phase with diligence and precision. We are skilled advocates who will fight relentlessly for your rights, ensuring your voice is heard in the courtroom. Furthermore, we operate on a contingency basis, which means you pay us only if we win your case. With our legal team by your side, you can focus your energy on recovery while we focus on securing justice for you.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers

If you’re dealing with vertigo after a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel P.C. for help. We offer free consultations where we can discuss the specifics of your case and provide guidance on your legal options. Remember, time is of the essence in personal injury cases, so it’s crucial to act quickly. Contact us today, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

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