While it’s not unusual to experience headaches after a car crash, chronic pain that persists after a few months is a cause for concern. Some people report ongoing and disabling headaches for years, which can affect their quality of life and even prevent them from maintaining gainful employment.

If you are having chronic headaches, it could indicate that you have suffered one of the common accident-related injuries below.


Whiplash happens when your neck suddenly jerks back or forth, damaging its nerves and soft tissues. This injury is especially common in rear-end collisions, with headaches tending to appear within hours after the accident.

If your headaches start at the base of your skull and/or neck movements such as looking up or down makes them worse, whiplash is the likely cause. Report the headaches to your doctor as soon as possible.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury is a term that covers a wide range of head injuries, some of which are catastrophic. They include:

  • Concussions: This comparatively common TBI occurs when the nerves and vessels in your brain suffer microscopic damage. Some accident victims recover from a concussion in a day or two, while others can live with residual complications for years.
  • Diffuse axonal injuries: If the collision’s impact causes your brain to strike your skull, it can cause ripping of your axons, which are nerve fibers that relay messages from the brain.
  • Intracranial hematomas: With an intracranial hematoma, blood vessels in your brain rupture and bleed into the surrounding areas, causing pressure on the brain and potentially creating a life-threatening condition.

If your headache is accompanied by dizziness, blurred vision, or memory loss, contact your doctor and your personal injury attorney right away, as your injuries may be more serious than you thought.

Medication reactions

Some medicines have side effects that include headaches. If your doctor prescribes medication for injuries or psychological trauma arising from the crash, it could be causing your headaches, especially if you consume alcohol or caffeine while taking it or the medication reacts to other pills that you take. Report the symptoms so that the doctor can investigate. If you experience persistent and prolonged headaches after a car accident, your personal injury attorney can advise you on how to proceed. Many insurance companies balk at covering medication and treatment for headaches and will argue that they probably aren’t accident-related. Your attorney will help you collect medical evidence that documents your headaches, links them to the crash, and shows that they have had a detrimental impact on your life, so you get the full compensation that you are entitled to.

Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx accident and personal injury lawyer. He offers free in-person consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment or visit mynewyorkcitylaywer.com/accidents to learn more.