You can get vertigo from a car accident. Some crash victims develop dizziness as a result of a neck or head injury — a condition known as post-traumatic vertigo.
Vertigo is primarily characterized by dizziness but, unbeknownst to most auto accident victims, it has a variety of other symptoms as well.
This condition illustrates the importance of seeking medical evaluation and treatment immediately after a car accident.
What Are the Symptoms of Vertigo After a Car Accident?
Besides dizziness, vertigo from a car accident may have some or all the following symptoms.
- Neck pain
- Concentration problems
- Memory lapse
- Spatial orientation problems
- Hearing problems
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty walking
Dizziness can take a variety of forms, including lightheadedness, feeling like the room is spinning, or feeling like you are spinning.
What Causes Post-Traumatic Vertigo from a Car Accident?
If you develop vertigo after a car crash, it originates from one or more potential sources:
Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): This condition arises when the fluids in the inner ear responsible for balance move because of a sudden impact. This fluid contains microscopic crystals (known as otoconia) that help orient balance and spatial positioning. If these crystals move from their correct location, balance problems can occur.
Cervicogenic Injury: Cervicogenic injury refers to damage to the neck, similar to whiplash. This damage can disrupt the body’s proprioceptors, which are sensors that govern postural control, by telling your brain where your various body parts are in relation to space and movement. For example, proprioceptors allow you to touch your fingertip to your nose without having to look at either one. If tissue damage in the neck disrupts proprioceptor signals, it can lead to dizziness and disorientation. Neck trauma can also restrict blood flow to the brain, leading to vascular causes of dizziness.
Temporal Bone Fracture: If you suffer a broken temporal or skull bone in a car crash, it can potentially affect your hearing and facial muscle control, and cause dizziness.
Whiplash Injury Syndrome: Vertigo is a common symptom of whiplash and can last as long as you suffer from your whiplash injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury: A brain injury can cause post-concussion syndrome, with headache, vertigo, and mental disturbance.
When Should You Seek Treatment After a Car Accident?
Doctors will treat your vertigo depending on the identified underlying cause. However, the sooner treatment begins, the better your chance of making a full recovery.
For this reason, it is critical for you to seek evaluation from emergency medical technicians at the scene of your accident, as well as a comprehensive follow-up examination. You will likely need treatment from a specialist, depending on the nature of your injuries. This treatment can be expensive.
If you do not seek emergency treatment, but later develop symptoms, the at-fault party’s insurance company may attempt to deny your accident injury claim.
The team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you get the treatment you need after an accident and handle every aspect of your claim. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with a Long Island car accident lawyer.