Can a Car Accident Cause a Stroke?

by Staff | April 11th, 2022

Most people associate car accidents with common injuries, such as broken bones, whiplash injuries, and bruising. However, strokes can also happen during a car crash. 

If you suffered a stroke because of a car accident, our California car accident lawyers can evaluate your case and help you file a compensation claim. 

What Are the Causes of a Stroke After a Car Accident?

High blood pressure, blood clots, and physical trauma can cause strokes. Traumatic brain and neck injuries can increase the risk of stroke for people under the age of 50.

A person who has had a head or neck injury is three times more likely to experience an ischemic stroke, a stroke occurring because of a blockage or clot in the blood vessels within the brain. 

A car accident can increase the risk of a stroke in several ways. The following injuries may trigger a stroke:

  • Whiplash: This injury happens when the body accelerates or decelerates in an accident. The neck whips back and forth upon impact, tearing soft tissues and arteries in the neck. Having this injury increases the risk of an ischemic stroke because of the ‌reduction in oxygen to the brain.
  • Brain hemorrhages: Head trauma from a car accident may cause a brain hemorrhage, increasing the risk of a stroke. The blood pools in the brain tissue, creating a mass called a hematoma. 

The hematoma can put pressure on the brain, minimizing blood flow to the brain and killing brain cells. Cerebral hemorrhages cause 13% of all strokes in the U.S. and are the second leading cause of stroke.

If the arteries are already constricted because of a pre-existing vascular condition, they may not supply enough blood to the brain. This situation might result in a stroke being triggered by a car accident, even when there is no physical trauma.

Delayed on-set strokes after a car accident

Sometimes, strokes can happen months or years after a car accident. Symptoms of tears in the arteries may not show up until three months after the accident, increasing the risk of stroke.

The risk of a stroke is typically greater for four months after a traumatic brain injury, but it can last up to five years. Getting immediate medical attention after an accident is always important to check out for any potential risk of a stroke.     

Can I Get Compensation for a Stroke?

If a stroke is caused by an accident, it can create complex coverage issues under the insurance company’s disability policies. The coverage question becomes whether the stroke or the accident was the efficient proximate cause of the disability. This means the cause must have been the most influential factor in creating the stroke. 

An insurance company must investigate the accident and determine whether there is coverage for the claim. The stroke exclusion may be determined by the circumstances of the accident, your age, and your health risks for a stroke.

Since negotiating with an insurance company takes skill and knowledge of California’s insurance laws, it’s best to get legal help collecting strong evidence and building a strong claim.

How can I prove the connection between the accident and my stroke?

All your medical records, including doctor’s notes and invoices from your treatments, can help connect your stroke to the accident. Emergency room records, medical tests, and written statements from friends and family can attest to the diminished quality of life you suffered after your stroke.

Attorneys can use their resources to collaborate with medical expert witnesses to investigate the cause of the stroke. Your lawyer can work tirelessly to achieve maximum compensation from the insurance company by using medical testimonies and records from your treatments to link the stroke to the accident.

Find Out if You Can Get Compensation for a Stroke in a Car Accident

If you suffer a stroke due to a car accident, attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can work on your case. We will evaluate your claim and advise you on your legal options, including how to move forward with a lawsuit. Call our law office to schedule your free case consultation today