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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

What Does Dizziness After Car Accident Mean?

Updated: Jan 17

Most people can feel dizzy at some point in their lives. These symptoms should go away after a short period of time. However, some may experience this unsettling sensation for a long time, causing them to feel queasy, unstable on their feet, or even unable to function properly.

Dizziness and vertigo can be induced by a variety of factors, including head trauma. Knowing how a car accident might induce dizziness or vertigo can help a victim get the treatment they need after an accident.

Types of Dizziness

Types of Dizziness

Car accident victims commonly experience four types of dizziness:

  • Vertigo- Sensation of whirling that isn't real

  • Disequilibrium - The inability to keep one's equilibrium

  • Presyncope - Loss of consciousness sensation

  • Light-headedness — A feeling of being cut off from one's surroundings

Diagnosis and Testing

A doctor should conduct a physical examination, ask about the victim's car accident and symptoms, and prescribe head movement testing, blood tests, and eye movement testing to diagnose and identify the origin of this traumatic brain injury.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Vertigo after a Car Accident?

Vertigo is a dizzy sensation caused by a spinning. This causes many people to feel as if their head or the space around them is moving. The sensation can be brief or it can last a long time.

Other vertigo symptoms include:

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Tinnitus, which is a type of ringing in the ears

  • Suffering from motion sickness

  • Lightheadedness

  • Headaches

People over the age of 65 are more likely to experience vertigo. A car accident, on the other hand, can cause vertigo at any age.

Headaches or Dizziness

Dizziness or headaches may occur as a result of a concussion, neck injury, blood clot, or whiplash, though these symptoms may appear later. Because some of these injuries are dangerous, a victim should see a doctor immediately if they have a headache or dizziness after a car accident, even if it's not serious.

Back Pain

A herniated disc, spinal injury, soft tissue injury, sprain, or whiplash can all cause back pain a few hours or even days after a car accident.

The victim may have a pinched nerve if they have numbness or tingling along with back pain. All of these issues can result in severe pain and mobility issues, so it's critical for them to seek medical attention as soon as they notice back problems.

Pain in the Shoulders or Neck

A herniated disc or other injuries can cause shoulder and neck pain. Furthermore, this type of discomfort is a common indicator of whiplash.

It may take days for pain in the shoulders or neck to occur after an injury, but if a victim detects these symptoms, they should see a doctor right away for tests.

Numbness or Tingling

A pinched nerve or herniated disc can cause numbness or a tingle anywhere on the body after a car accident. If left untreated, this disease can lead to severe discomfort and other life-threatening risks, so a victim must have these symptoms looked at right away.

Even if their symptoms aren't on this list, they should see a doctor if they experience any of them. Deep bruising, fainting, dizziness, and other symptoms might all suggest an injury that needs to be treated.

What Causes Vertigo After a Vehicle Accident?

The most prevalent causes of dizziness are inner ear infections and disorders such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or Meniere's disease. Vertigo after a car collision, on the other hand, is almost often caused by head and neck injuries.


Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, especially when there is a rear-end impact. It is a condition that develops when someone's head and neck are rapidly thrown forward and then backward. The ligaments and muscle fibers in the neck may be damaged as a result of the force of this motion.

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whiplash can injure the brainstem even if there is no obvious trauma to the head or neck. Patients suffering from vertigo and dizziness have been reported in 25 to 50 percent of whiplash instances. Whiplash can result in several symptoms, including dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Although a substantial number of individuals who incur a whiplash injury experience vertigo and dizziness, diagnosing these symptoms can be difficult. Even if there are no concrete findings on tests like MRIs, this could imply that vertigo and dizziness are connected to a brain, traumatic brain injury, or brainstem lesion.

If a victim has experienced a whiplash injury, they should seek medical treatment right away because there is a clear link between whiplash injuries and vertigo or dizziness. A doctor can help such a victim with these symptoms by prescribing drugs or treatments.

Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury

Concussions are caused by an abrupt change in motion or impact, such as blows to the head or force from a whiplash injury. These symptoms may occur hours, days, or weeks after the injury. Therefore, vertigo is one of the most prevalent concussion symptoms.

A concussion is the mildest kind of traumatic brain damage (TBI). After a TBI, however, issues with balance and vertigo are common. If a victim suspects that they've suffered a concussion or brain injury, they should consult a doctor right at once and get medical treatment. A brain injury can become more serious over time and should never be overlooked.

Cervicogenic Injury

Any damage to the cervical spine or the neck can cause a variety of symptoms. Headaches, vertigo, neck pain, and dizziness are all possible symptoms. Whiplash is frequently linked to cervicogenic injuries.

A patient may have cervicogenic dizziness after a cervical spine injury. Balance, neck stiffness, unsteadiness, disorientation, limited range of motion, and headaches are all symptoms of this problem. Cervicogenic dizziness is a condition in which a person's symptoms are caused by the motion of the cervical spine.

Injury to the Temporal Bone

The temporal bones are a set of bones that encompass the middle and inner ear and are part of the side of the skull. Furthermore, the middle and internal ear, the brain, and the facial nerve can all be damaged by any sort of temporal bone injury, including a fracture. Blunt head trauma is the most common cause of temporal bone injuries, with motor vehicle collisions being the most frequent cause.

Any injury to one or both temporal bones might result in a variety of serious consequences. Hearing loss, dizziness, bleeding, vertigo, facial paralysis, or a leak of cerebral spinal fluid are all possible symptoms. These symptoms are usually detected once a person is able to walk again following an injury.

A fracture or injury to the temporal bone is a major and fatal medical condition. If a victim thinks that their temporal bone has been damaged, they should seek medical treatment right at once.

Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is a disorder that causes vertigo when certain head movements are made. Other BPPV symptoms involve:

  • Fever and hearing loss

  • Severe headaches

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms and legs

Although there is no known cause for BPPV, it is frequently linked to a blow to the head, and it affects many car accident victims.

Is Vertigo Treatable?

Vertigo is treated in the vast majority of instances. Its symptoms are treated with a combination of physical therapy, surgery, and drugs from medical specialists. Many vertigo sufferers consult with neurologists or otolaryngologists to design a treatment plan that works for them.

The underlying disease or cause of vertigo can determine the course of treatment. It could include the following:

Vestibular rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy that focuses on strengthening the vestibular system, which transmits information about muscle movements to the brain.

Canalith repositioning motions are movement therapies that help the body absorb calcium deposits that have built up in the inner ear canal.

Anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and steroids can be prescribed by doctors to alleviate nausea, swelling, and motion sickness.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Subluxations – misalignments of the vertebrae that can exert stress on nerves and create a variety of health complications – are common in car accidents. Doctors can realign the vertebrae and help a patient's neck and back to heal by applying gentle, targeted pressure.

Massage Therapy

Therapists can improve blood flow to a victim's injured spot while reducing muscle spasms and stiffness using massage therapy. Massage can help a person's body to relax and recover more quickly.

Corrective Exercises

Following a vehicle accident, physical therapy is a vital aspect of the recovery process. A therapist's purpose is to help the patient get stronger so that they can better support their injury, which can improve their mobility, help them heal faster, and prevent future injuries.

Stomach Pain after a Car Accident

Stomach ache is a symptom one shouldn't want to overlook after a car accident. It could be an indication of internal injuries or bleeding in some circumstances. Internal soft-tissue injuries might result in stomach pain hours or days after an injury, requiring immediate medical attention.

A victim may also have symptoms such as disorientation and huge bruising in addition to abdominal pain. If they have any of these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.

How Long Does It Take to Recover?

The length of time it takes for a victim to heal depends on the type and degree of their injuries. A doctor might be able to give them exact timelines for when they should start to feel better and fully recover. It's crucial to remember that each head injury is different, and victims should listen to their doctor's advice about the appropriate recovery plan, rest, and treatment for such injuries.

How to File a Dizziness Claim after a Car Accident

A victim begins their claim for dizziness following a car accident by making an application for no-fault benefits with the liable car insurance company. If the victim is unable to return to work, the no-fault insurance should cover their medical costs and missed wages.

Can a Victim File a Lawsuit for Such an Injury?

Yes. A victim can also try suing the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation as a result of their car accident injuries, but they must first prove that the other driver was at fault for having caused the car accident and that their injury falls under our auto law's definition of "serious impairment of body function." It would be better if they have someone who was able to witness the car accident.

Additionally, a victim may be able to sue the driver at fault for other financial losses, such as unpaid medical expenses and lost wages.

Eventually, if a victim's car insurance company refuses to pay the benefits related to their treatment for the car accident injuries or wage losses for dizziness, a victim can sue for unpaid medical expenses, replacement services, attendant care, and lost wages because their injury has prevented them from returning to work.

How to Prove a Car Accident Caused Dizziness

Seeing a doctor as soon as possible can help a victim prove their case. Scans, medical records, and a doctor's testimony can all be used to prove that a victim's dizziness was a result of the accident. If the victim doesn't have any pre-existing disorders that could explain their dizziness, this can provide enough proof that their injury was a result of the accident.

Suffering from Vertigo or Dizziness After a Car Accident? The Keating Law Firm Can Help

After being wounded in a car accident, a person may have dizziness and vertigo for a variety of reasons. In most circumstances, it indicates that their head or neck has been injured. Car accident lawyers in Columbus Ohio can help a victim get compensation for the full extent of their injuries, including past and future medical care for vertigo and dizziness. This is especially the case if they lose their job due to a car accident.

The Keating Firm takes pride in advocating for accident victims of all kinds. Thousands of clients in the region have benefited from the firm's assistance in obtaining a just settlement or jury verdict for their injuries. In order to get legal advice or to schedule a free consultation, people may call the team's auto accident lawyers or send them an email.


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