Injured and dizzy? Make sure to clearly describe how you feel – no easy task

Some people injured in car accidents experience what they may call dizziness after their accident. This feeling may persist for days, months or even years. One major problem is that there are several quite different experiences people may have when they use the word “dizziness”. These include feelings:

  • – of spinning or other feelings of movement (which doctors call “vertigo”),
  • – of lightheadedness without a feeling of motion,
  • – that one is going to pass out or faint,
  • – of blurring of vision on movement of one’s head and
  • – of being off-balance or unsteady on one’s feet.


Other symptoms which may accompany dizziness include nausea, anxiety, pressure in the head and ears, ringing or buzzing in the ears (called tinnitus) and hearing loss.



It is important for dizzy patients to clearly describe what they feel to all their treating people including their family doctor, physiotherapists, other therapists and medical specialists to whom their family doctor refers them.


Factors people should think about and note in writing after an episode include:

  • how they feel during a dizziness episode,
  • the timing of the dizziness episodes,
  • what brings it on,
  • foods eaten,
  • medications consumed (dizziness can be a side-effect),
  • duration of  the symptoms and
  • what worsens or lessons the feeling of dizziness.


ICBC and, if you don’t settle your claim, a judge or jury may not take your word that you have a moderate or severe dizziness problem from your accident unless:

  • at least a few scientific tests of your balance system support your complaints and
  • a specialist in this field supports and explains these little known problems.


If your dizziness persists for several months after an accident, it would be beneficial for you to see a top notch medical specialist experienced in giving opinions in legal cases on people with dizziness.


Some people injured in vehicle accidents may experience “visual vestibular mismatch”. This is a feeling of dizziness and nausea often brought on when there is a lot of movement or a busy visual environment around the injured person. The person’s dizziness occurs because his or her balance system does not mesh with the information the person receives  through his or her vision.


It is usually very beneficial for dizzy patients to talk to an injury lawyer who is very experienced in such cases before they seek a referral from their family doctor to:

  • one of the few physiotherapists in B.C. who are certified to treat such conditions or
  • a medical specialist such as an:
    • an ear specialist (otologist),
    • an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist), who is more of a generalist or
    • a specialist in visual problems that relate to the nervous system (neuro-ophthalmologist).



New York Times article: “Getting Specific about Dizziness


Dizziness and nausea. Questions and Answers


and new book entitled:


Dizziness: Why You Feel Dizzy and What Will Help You Feel Better.