Vertigo is severe dizziness that commonly occurs after a car accident. Vertigo can also make you feel as though the room or you are spinning and is frequently caused by an injury or damage to the neck.
You should never take vertigo lightly, and you should seek medical treatment for any symptoms you endure. However, there are a few different reasons why you can get vertigo from a car accident.
What Are the Symptoms of Vertigo After a Car Crash?
Vertigo creates a spinning sensation that makes you feel dizzy. Many people with vertigo will feel like their head or the space around them is moving. The feeling can be temporary or last for a long time.
Other symptoms of vertigo include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Motion sickness
- Feeling off-balance
Vertigo is most common in people aged 65 or older. However, a car accident can cause vertigo in anyone, regardless of their age.
Get the strong arm
What Causes Vertigo After a Vehicle Accident?
Inner ear infections and diseases like Meniere’s disease or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) are the most common causes of dizziness. But when vertigo occurs after a car accident, it’s likely due to trauma to the head and neck. This trauma can appear as a number of medical conditions.
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries. The crash’s impact causes your head and neck to be forced forward and backward. The sudden movements stretch your neck past its usual range of motion, causing small tears in your tendons and muscle fibers.
Pain is the most prominent symptom of whiplash, but it can also cause vertigo. Nerve damage 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. Damage to these areas can affect your ability to maintain balance, coordination, posture, and sensory information.
How Long Does Vertigo Last After Whiplash?
Unfortunately, the impact of vertigo can last for months or even years after being involved in an accident. Approximately 75% of individuals diagnosed with whiplash will recover after one year. However, dizziness associated with whiplash injuries has been known to last for several years or longer.
Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain trauma results from a sudden change in movement or impact. Blows to the head or the force from a whiplash injury can cause concussions. Concussions can take hours, days, or weeks to reveal their symptoms, and vertigo is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion.
Concussions are the least severe type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, problems with balance and vertigo are prevalent after a TBI. If you believe you have a brain injury, see a doctor immediately. Brain injuries can worsen with time and should never be ignored.
A cervicogenic injury is a type of damage to the neck that can cause headaches and dizziness. The injury 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 specific head movements can trigger vertigo. Other symptoms of this disorder include:
- Hearing loss
- Severe headaches
- Arm and leg weakness, numbness, or tingling
Although there is no known cause of BPPV, it’s often connected to a blow to the head, and many car accident victims suffer from it.
Broken Temporal Bone
The temporal bones are located at the sides and base of your skull near your temples. A broken temporal bone can affect facial muscle control and hearing. It can also cause vertigo symptoms.
What Is Post-Traumatic Vertigo?
Post-traumatic vertigo is frequently seen in multiple types of personal injury accidents, including sports injuries, car accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents. When individuals suffer a neck or head injury, they may develop this balance disorder.
However, do not be surprised if your symptoms do not resolve soon after the accident. Many victims of post-traumatic vertigo wind up dealing with the consequences of their injuries for months or longer after the accident.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Get Vertigo?
Every person’s case is different. However, if you have been diagnosed with vestibular vertigo, you may begin experiencing symptoms immediately after your collision. You may find yourself dealing with vision complications and hearing loss.
Most notably, you will suffer difficulty with maintaining your balance. Many victims will experience symptoms for two or more years after the accident.
Is Vertigo Treatable?
In the majority of cases, vertigo is treatable. Medical professionals use a combination of surgery, physical therapy, and medications to treat vertigo symptoms. Many vertigo patients work with neurologists or otolaryngologists to develop a suitable treatment plan.
Treatment for vertigo will depend on the underlying condition or cause. It might include:
- Vestibular rehabilitation: Physical therapy aimed at strengthening the vestibular system, which sends signals to the brain about body movements.
- Canalith repositioning maneuvers: Movement therapies to transfer calcium deposits out of the inner ear channel so the body can absorb them.
- Medications: Doctors will prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or steroids to reduce swelling, nausea, and motion sickness.
What Should I Do if I Have Vertigo After a Car Accident?
If you experience dizziness after a car accident, get medical treatment immediately. The sooner you begin treatment, the better your chance of recovery. Be very honest with your doctor about everything you feel so the medical professional 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 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 blame or apologizing for the accident until you have all the facts.
- Call a car accident lawyer for help with your insurance claim.
Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver for My Medical Damages?
If you experience vertigo symptoms after a vehicle collision, you can sue the at-fault driver (or their insurance provider) for medical damages. Medical damages compensate for all expenses you incurred since the accident. They include doctor appointments, hospital visits, medication costs, and ongoing care that you may require to treat your vertigo.
Insurance companies may attempt to deny your claim for medical damages. However, a skilled personal injury lawyer can ensure you collect the compensation you deserve. Legal experts will gather evidence and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf while you focus on recovering from your vertigo.
Get Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries
You deserve compensation for your medical damages after a vehicle collision. If you experience pushback from the insurance company or need help navigating the legal process, call John Foy & Associates. We have been representing car accident victims in Georgia for more than 20 years.
Contact us now to get started with a free consultation.