Yes, it is possible for a car accident to cause a stroke—although it’s not common. Certain types of injuries have the potential to trigger a stroke. This is most likely if the person who is injured already has a condition that makes stroke more likely, such as high blood pressure or poor circulation. However, it can potentially happen to anyone.
Important: If you or a loved one are suffering from what you believe is a stroke, call 911 immediately.
It’s important to understand that any stroke related to a car accident will have some kind of physical cause—usually an injury or physical trauma like whiplash. There is no evidence that strokes can be caused by simply facing a stressful situation such as fear or panic. Thus, it’s unlikely or perhaps even impossible that the stress of being in an accident triggers a stroke on its own.
Below, we’ll discuss three possible ways that a car accident could cause a stroke. These are hypothetical; if you or a loved one suffered a stroke after an accident, it will take a professional medical opinion to determine what the cause may have been. Your car accident lawyer can help you get this information and prove it to the insurance company.
The 3 Ways a Car Accident Could Cause a Stroke
#1 Hemorrhagic Stroke
Most strokes are caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain. However, a small percentage of strokes—about 15%—are caused by bleeding in the brain. In normal circumstances, this ay be caused by high blood pressure or by an aneurysm. However, in a car accident, a head injury could also cause bleeding in the brain. So, any trauma to the head could potentially mean the car accident injuries caused the stroke.
Whiplash is common in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. It happens when head and neck are thrown suddenly forward by the impact. This whipping motion can tear soft tissues in the neck such as tendons and muscles. But, it could potentially also tear the lining of the large arteries in the neck. When an artery’s lining tears away, also known as “dissection” of the lining, it causes clotting to take place—potentially blocking blood flow and ultimately oxygen to the brain.
#3 Disruption of Blood Supply
When the brain can’t get enough blood, it’s usually because something is blocking an artery. But not always. If a car accident leaves a victim trapped upside down, or in another position that isn’t upright, the brain would need more oxygen. And if the arteries are already narrowed because of an existing health condition, they would not necessarily be able to deliver enough blood to the brain. This kind of situation could mean that a car accident triggers a stroke even if the victim did not suffer any serious physical trauma.
If a Car Accident Caused Your Stroke, Your Claim Should Cover It
Insurance companies will try to deny that a car accident can cause a stroke. They do this so they don’t have to pay you—especially if you don’t have a lawyer. Do not let them pressure you into accepting less than you deserve. Let us give you a FREE consultation to get you the help you need. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.