Can a Car Accident Cause a Stroke?
When you’re in a car accident, it’s likely that there are certain injuries you more or less expect to endure, depending on the situation. Injuries like bruises, cuts, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries are common in car crashes and are ones you might expect to get evaluated and treated after the collision. But a wreck could cause much more harm to a car accident victim.
An injury you might not typically consider from a car accident is a stroke, but it’s possible. It’s unlikely the stroke would happen directly after the accident—they’re typically seen later from the other injuries you suffered from the crash. Let’s take a look at the details of a stroke and how a car accident might cause one so you can be fully informed about potential car accident injuries.
Strokes and Their Warning Signs
It’s likely you’ve heard of strokes before, but you might not know exactly what they are. A stroke happens in the brain when the blood supply is reduced or interrupted from a blockage or constricted blood vessel, according to the Mayo Clinic. This restriction of blood flow limits oxygen to that part of the brain, which kills brain cells and can quickly kill a person.
There are different types of strokes depending on how the damage occurs. They are:
- Ischemic stroke – blockage or clot
- Hemorrhagic stroke – ruptured blood vessel
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – temporary clot
Treatment for a stroke varies depending on the type of attack, but the symptoms and signs are the same for all variations. The most obvious symptoms of a stroke are as follows:
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty understanding what others are saying
- Paralysis of the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body
- Blurry or black vision in one or both eyes
- Seeing double
- Sudden, severe headache
- Losing balance
- Loss of coordination
In these scenarios, it can be helpful to remember the acronym FAST. This stands for face, arms, speech, and time, which are all the main factors you need to examine to determine if someone is having a stroke. F, A, and S are all addressed in the symptoms above, but T stands for time, which means if you notice any of these signs that you need to act fast and call 911 right away.
Now that you understand what a stroke is and how they happen, let’s take a look at how a car accident can cause them.
How Car Accidents Can Cause Strokes
While it’s highly unlikely that the stresses and trauma of a car crash will immediately cause a stroke for a car accident victim, it’s possible that the other injuries a person sustains in a wreck could cause a stroke down the line. Injuries like concussions, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries commonly result from car crashes, and are all instances of trauma to the head and neck that could lead to a stroke.
Traumatic brain injuries and other injuries to the muscles and tissues of the neck and head are some of the highest risks for strokes after an auto wreck. The trauma that your tissue sustain can cause clots to form, and those blood clots can easily travel to the brain where they could cause a stroke. A traumatic brain injury could also cause a hemorrhagic stroke when the impact causes bleeding in the brain.
Another way that a stroke could happen after a crash is when the blood vessels in the head or neck are weakened. This can happen from milder injuries than those listed above. Ruptured blood vessels typically aren’t much to worry about, but after an accident they could be dangerous in the head and neck because the blood that leaks from the vessel could travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
Injuries in car accidents that restrict oxygen to the brain could also lead to a stroke. For example, an injury that causes blood vessels to constrict, or keep a victim from breathing, could limit the oxygen that the brain can get, which could lead to a stroke.
All of these scenarios go to show just how important it is for a car accident victim to seek treatment immediately after a wreck. When a victim gets properly evaluated by a medical professional after suffering through a crash, their physician is more likely to catch the symptoms of injuries that could lead to stroke. That way, a patient can be more aware of their risks and more vigilant for the signs so they can get help right away.
Effects of a Stroke and How They Affect Damages in a Claim
What makes strokes so dangerous is the effect they have on the body since they happen in the brain. The brain losing oxygen leads to dead brain cells, which means there could be serious effects on the parts of the body and functions that those parts of the brain control.
This means that a stroke could cause:
- Loss of muscle movement
- Trouble talking and swallowing
- Difficulty with language
- Memory loss
- Trouble thinking and reasoning
- Poor judgement
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Unable to care for themselves
Since the stroke was the result of the car accident, that means all of these side effects could be included in the damages that you could recover. Having an experienced car accident lawyer is vital here because they’ll know how the complications from a stroke that was a result of an auto wreck calculate into your financial compensation.
Your economic damages you can recover will include the medical bills and other costs associated with the medical care you needed because of the stroke. This includes your current and future costs of care, especially if you need medical equipment or in-home care for the rest of your life.
Your emotional damages caused by the stroke can also be included in your noneconomic damages. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life all factor into what your attorney will help you recover.
You Can Trust Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC to Represent You
When you’ve suffered a stroke after a car accident, you could use the help of a car accident lawyer to recover damages for you. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we understand how devastating your injuries and damages could be, which is why we’re here to guide you through the car accident claim process.
We’ll investigate what happened and calculate how much you’re owed from your injuries. With us on your side, you can rest assured that you’ll get the justice you deserve. Reach out to our office today for a free consultation.
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