Legal Guide

Can You Navigate PTHA and Migraine Claims Alone? Why an Attorney Might Be Your Best Bet After an Accident

Each day, more than 17,000 accidents occur on US roads, spanning from minor fender benders to devastating crashes resulting in fatalities. It’s easy to assume that the severity of a car accident directly correlates with the gravity of injuries sustained.

However, this isn’t always the case. For instance, whiplash injuries can occur even in accidents where vehicles are moving as slowly as 5 miles per hour. Notably, whiplash is among the most prevalent injuries stemming from car collisions in the United States.

Whiplash and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) share a grim kinship in the aftermath of vehicular accidents. Both can result when the head strikes an object during the collision, whether it’s the dashboard, window, or steering wheel. Additionally, sudden jolting movements of the head, both forward and backward, due to impact can contribute to these injuries.

The insidious nature of these injuries is that symptoms don’t always manifest immediately. When they do surface, they often present as Post-Traumatic Headaches (PTHA) and migraines, adding a prolonged layer of suffering for the victims.

Understanding Post-Traumatic Headaches and Migraines

Post-traumatic headaches (PTHA) and migraines represent some of the most misinterpreted and neglected consequences of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and whiplash sustained in car accidents. Here’s why these symptoms might be overlooked when victims seek compensation:

  1. The origins of PTHAs and migraines are multifaceted, leading to widespread misunderstanding.
  2. These symptoms can be challenging to address and alleviate.
  3. There’s pervasive skepticism concerning the genuine toll these symptoms exact on an individual’s life.

Regrettably, due to these barriers, many suffering from PTHA and migraines post-TBI endure prolonged periods of pain — often weeks or even years. This distress extends beyond mere physical pain, infiltrating other aspects of their well-being. Accompanying symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory challenges
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Mood disorders

Furthermore, for those who already experienced migraines and headaches before a car accident, there’s a heightened probability that their discomfort will intensify after the incident.

What Causes These Injuries in Car Accidents?

To understand the origins of PTHAs and migraines following car accidents, it’s crucial to examine their precursors: traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and whiplash.

During a car collision, the position and type of impact can cause your head to strike various parts of the vehicle. This contact might be with the window, dashboard, or even the steering wheel, depending on factors like the nature of the accident and whether you’re the driver or a passenger.

Moreover, the abrupt force of the collision can jolt your head, causing it to whip back and forth rapidly. This sudden motion can thrust the brain against the skull’s interior, frequently culminating in TBIs and whiplash injuries.

Understanding the Link: PTHAs, Migraines, TBIs, and Whiplash Injuries

From a medical standpoint, PTHAs typically appear either seven days after an accident or within seven days after a victim regains consciousness. Though research connecting PTHAs and migraines to TBIs resulting from accidents is limited, the available studies provide enlightening findings.

One particular study revealed that 71% of individuals who suffered TBIs in car accidents experienced PTHAs and migraines within a year of the incident. Furthermore, 41% reported headaches at three, six, and twelve-month intervals following the accident.

Interestingly, the study highlighted that the severity of a TBI wasn’t a decisive factor in determining PTHA onset. Another study underscored the notable relationship between PTHAs, migraines, and whiplash injuries from car accidents.

“Given the substantial likelihood of developing PTHAs and migraines post-accident, it’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately following a collision, even if you believe you’ve emerged unharmed,” says injury attorney Jonathan Harris Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP. If you experience headaches or migraines days or even a year after an incident, prompt medical attention remains essential. Always ensure you inform the physician about the details of the accident for a comprehensive assessment.

Navigating PTHA and Migraine Claims: Why You Need an Attorney

Navigating the legal intricacies of PTHA and migraine claims post-accident is no simple task. Given the multifaceted medical nature of these symptoms, pursuing compensation becomes exceedingly complex, bordering on impossible, without a seasoned attorney knowledgeable about these manifestations and their origins.

Several challenges confront such claims:

  1. Skepticism is rife among insurers and adjusters. Why? Often, symptoms can emerge from low-speed crashes that cause minimal vehicular damage.
  2. Standard diagnostic tests, like skull X-rays or CT scans, may return negative results.
  3. The broader understanding of migraines pales compared to other car accident-related injuries.

Moreover, if symptoms are solely pain-focused or if there’s a delay in diagnosing a concussion, solidifying your claim grows challenging. Insurers and adjusters might dispute the link between the symptoms and the car accident.

Given these hurdles, the importance of securing a dedicated personal injury attorney experienced in such cases is paramount. These attorneys collaborate with medical professionals, leveraging their testimonies to solidify your claim. They bring in expert witnesses to offer authoritative medical opinions on your symptoms and how TBIs and whiplash injuries from the accident might have caused them.

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