Vertigo, a type of dizziness, is common after a car accident. However, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Having vertigo at any time after your accident may mean you have serious injuries that need treatment right away. There are a number of conditions that can cause vertigo after a car accident, so it’s important to understand what it may mean and what to do if you experience it.
What Does Vertigo Feel Like After a Car Accident?
Vertigo is a sensation of spinning dizziness. Many people with vertigo will feel like their head or the space around them is spinning or moving. The sensation can be temporary or last for a long time.
Other symptoms of vertigo often include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- A feeling of motion sickness
- Feeling off-balance
According to Medical News Today, vertigo is most common in people aged 65 or older. However, a car accident can cause vertigo in anyone, regardless of age.
What Causes Vertigo After an Accident?
Inner ear infections and diseases of the ear like Meniere’s disease or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) are the most common causes of vertigo. But when vertigo occurs after a car accident, it’s likely due to trauma from the crash.
Below are some common car accident reasons that could be causing vertigo.
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries. It happens when your head and neck are suddenly forced forward and then backward from the impact. This can stretch your neck past its usual range of motion, causing small tears in tendons and muscle fibers.
Pain is the biggest symptom of whiplash, but it can also cause vertigo. Damage to the nerves in your neck may affect brain signals responsible for spatial awareness, balance, and coordination.
Whiplash injuries may also affect the brainstem (where your brain and spinal cord meet) and the cerebellum, which is found behind the top of the brain stem. Damage to these areas can affect your ability to maintain balance, coordination, posture and sensory information.
Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussions from car accidents are typically caused by blows to the head or the force from a whiplash injury. In a concussion, brain trauma results from a sudden change in movement or impact. Concussions can take hours, days or weeks to fully reveal their symptoms. Vertigo is a common one.
Concussions are the least serious forms of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Problems with balance and vertigo are very common after a TBI. If you believe you have a brain injury, it’s vital that you see a doctor immediately. Brain injuries can worsen with time and should not be ignored.
A cervicogenic injury is a damage to the neck that can cause headaches and other problems like vertigo. The damage affects the proprioceptors in your body, which are the sensory receptors that respond to movement and position.
Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is a condition where certain head movements can trigger vertigo. Other symptoms include hearing loss, fever, a severe headache, weakness in the arms or legs and numbness or tingling.
Although there is no known cause of BPPV, it’s often connected to a blow to the head, such as trauma from a car accident.
Broken Temporal Bone
The temporal bones are located at the sides and base of your skull over your temples. A broken temporal bone from a car accident can affect control of facial muscles and hearing and cause vertigo.
What Should I Do if I Have Vertigo After a Car Accident?
If you experience dizziness or vertigo after a car accident, get medical treatment immediately. The sooner you begin treatment, the better your chance of recovering soon. Plus, if you were not at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the treatment of your vertigo-related injuries.
Treatment for vertigo will depend on the underlying condition or cause. Be very honest with your doctor about everything you are feeling so they can diagnose you correctly. You may also need a referral to a specialist who can better treat the cause of your vertigo.
You should also:
- Contact your doctor if you experience any further changes or worsening in your condition
- Follow all treatment plans and care recommendations from your doctor
- Keep track of all medical expenses related to your car accident injuries
- Avoid accepting any blame or apologizing for the accident until you have all the facts
- Call a car accident lawyer for help with your insurance claim
Discuss Your Car Accident Claim for Free
Since injuries related to vertigo may take time to develop, the at-fault party’s insurance company may look for excuses to deny your claim. However, you deserve compensation for all damages if you did not cause the accident.
If you experience pushback from the insurer or the other driver—or if you need any help with the legal process after your accident—call John Foy & Associates today. We have been representing car accident victims in Georgia for more than 20 years. Our goal is simple: getting you the compensation you deserve. To get started with a FREE consultation today, call
(404) 400-4000 now. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.