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Did Your Harrisburg Car Crash Cause Your Migraine Headaches?

A women rubbing her head because of a headache.

There are many reasons why people experience migraines. You could be involved in a traumatic event like a car crash that causes an injury that triggers these severe and potentially debilitating headaches.

Our Harrisburg vehicle accident attorneys discuss how car accidents can trigger migraines, the distinctions between regular headaches and migraines, how long post-crash migraines may last and the process of seeking compensation.

If you are experiencing migraines following a car crash, Schmidt Kramer may be able to help you secure compensation for your injuries. We represent injured crash victims at no upfront cost and have secured millions for our clients.

Call us to schedule a free legal consultation. (717) 727-2089.

How a Collision Might Trigger Migraines

Auto accidents could cause various injuries that might contribute to the onset or exacerbation of migraines for victims. Some of those injuries include:

Brain or Head Injuries

Some victims may suffer from head injuries if they hit their head on the steering wheel, window or something else inside the vehicle. Head trauma from a forceful impact can jolt your brain around, causing injury to tissues and nerves. This could result in victims suffering migraines.

Muscle Strain

Strained head muscles in your head, neck or upper back during a collision can led to tension headaches that may progress into migraines.


Whiplash, a common injury in car accidents, involves strained muscles in the neck. For example, a rear-end collision, where your vehicle is struck from behind, causes abrupt back-and-forth motion of your head and neck that can strain the muscles and ligaments in your neck, leading to whiplash. A possible side effect of this strain is migraine headaches.

Skull Fractures

Fractures to the skull can cause severe headaches, including migraines. Such a fracture can cause severe inflammation that could spread to other areas of your head, exacerbating migraine symptoms.

Regular Headaches vs. Migraines

A migraine is much more than a bad headache. A headache involves pain in your head, often caused by tension.

However, migraines are another matter entirely. These headaches are a full-blown neurological condition. that can affect the brain, spinal cord or nerves. Some of the symptoms can have a significant impact on your daily life.

Understanding the differences between regular headaches and migraines is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment. For instance, these are some of the symptoms that often come with migraines:

  • Pain: Migraines often occur with intense, throbbing pain, typically on one side of your head, while headaches typically involve a dull, constant ache, potentially on both sides of your head.
  • Sensitivity: Migraine sufferers frequently experience heightened sensitivity to light and sound, while this tends to be less severe for individuals with headaches, if at all.
  • Nausea: Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of migraines. Headaches, on the other hand, may cause mild nausea in some cases, but vomiting is less common.
  • Long duration and impact: Migraines often last for hours or even days, significantly disrupting work, social activities and your overall well-being. In contrast, headaches usually resolve relatively quickly, allowing you to resume daily routines with minimal interference.

Classifying Migraine Headaches

Understanding the classification of migraines can help victims and healthcare professionals better manage and treat the condition. Migraines can vary in frequency, severity and presentation, requiring individualized care.

Chronic vs. Episodic

Migraines can be classified as chronic or episodic. Chronic migraines occur 15 or more days per month while episodic migraines happen less frequently.

Chronic migraines often require ongoing medical management to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. If you are dealing with chronic migraines, ongoing medical management typically involves a combination of preventive and symptomatic treatments tailored to your specific needs.

Preventative treatment reduces the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. This is especially helpful for individuals who experience frequent migraines. Those who suffer from migraines after a car crash may have to take medications like propranolol or metoprolol to reduce the frequency and intensity.

Symptomatic treatments focus on relieving pain and other symptoms during a migraine attack. Prescription drugs like sumatriptan or rizatriptan block pain pathways in the brain and provide relief from migraine symptoms.

Some individuals may be able to treat their migraines by implementing lifestyle modifications like:

  • Managing stress
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Changing their diet
  • Avoiding bright lights
  • Daily stretching to prevent stiff muscles, especially in the neck

Migraines With an Aura

Migraines with an aura are preceded by sensory or visual disturbances before a headache starts. These sensory or visual disturbance could include flashes of light or wavy lines in your visual field, which is the most common type of aura.

Other sensory disturbances may include tingling or numbness in your face, hands or arms. In some cases, people may experience interruption in their speech and language, causing them to have a slurred speech or to become easily confused. Although it is rare, some individuals may have motor disturbances that can cause weakness or paralysis in one side of the body.

Some aura symptoms can vary widely for everyone. The aura phase typically ranges from a few minutes to an hour before a headache. However, in some cases, these symptoms may linger throughout the duration of your migraine.

How Long Could You Be Dealing with Migraines?

You may experience migraines for a short period following the accident, while others may suffer from chronic migraines that persist for months or even years.

The severity of your injury, the effectiveness of medical intervention, overall health status and how consistent you are with following instructions relating to your treatment all play a role in determining how long you may deal with migraines after a car crash.

If a collision resulted in severe head trauma, your migraines may persist for a more extended period compared to a less severe injury. It is important for crash victims to seek medical attention immediately to treat migraine symptoms. It could help them start the treatment process right away so that they are able to recover from post-crash migraines.

Genetics, psychological factors, environmental influences and even any preexisting medical conditions you had before the crash can influence how long you deal with migraines. For example, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly known as TMJ) or cervical spine abnormalities may increase the sensitivity of your nervous system, making you more prone to experiencing chronic or recurrent migraines.

Can I Include a Migraine in a Car Crash Claim?

Any injury you can link to a car accident could be included in a Pennsylvania car accident claim. Pennsylvania operates under no-fault insurance laws, meaning car accident victims need to seek compensation from their own insurance policy first, regardless who is liable for the crash. Your no-fault benefits should cover treatment of your migraines and the underlying injury that triggered these intense headaches.

It is vital that you seek treatment quickly and report your migraines as soon as they start. This helps to link migraines to the collision, allowing you to claim compensation.

It is important to speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible, as he or she can help you document all the damages caused by your migraines. This includes the emotional consequences, which can be much harder to document without the help of an attorney.

Suffering From Migraines After a Pennsylvania Car Crash? Contact Schmidt Kramer Today

Migraine headaches can be physically and emotionally challenging, impacting every aspect of your life. If you started experiencing these headaches after a collision caused by another driver, you may be able to take legal action.

Seeking legal guidance and support from an experienced attorney is a critical step in your pursuit of compensation. Schmidt Kramer’s licensed lawyers have more than 30 years of legal experience and have recovered more than $100 million for our clients. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to learn how we might be able to assist you.

No upfront costs. Call to schedule your free legal consultation: (717) 727-2089.