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Tinnitus, or ringing of the ears is an often overlooked symptom arising after an auto accident. Often the tinnitus will go away in a few days or a few weeks. However in some cases the symptoms do not seem to go away.

After an auto accident the accident victim who starts to have ringing in the ears may not, at first, associate it with the accident. Many people who have not studied tinnitus and auto accidents “assume” that tinnitus comes from a direct trauma to the ears or head. Often in a car accident there is no direct trauma to the ears. However, studies have shown a high correlation between tinnitus in auto accidents, particularly associated with the onset of whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash may take hours or days to develop after the accident. In addition to not making the “self-diagnosis,” a patient will often see a doctor after the accident and assume the doctor will be attending to his or her bodily injuries, such as neck, shoulder and back pain. The person assumes that if the ringing in the ears does not go away, they will have to see an ear doctor, so the patient often does not report the tinnitus to the initial medical providers.

The connection between an auto accident, Tinnitus, and the onset of whiplash was reported in the International Tinnitus Journal, vol. 15 no. 2 July- December, 2009. Also, see article in the Mayo Clinic official website:

Also see related information in the Northern Brain Injury Institute website: 

The International Tinnitus Journal report stated, in part: Very well known is that after head and neck trauma, many patients complain of various types of tinnitus. Therefore, we prepared a specific, detailed analysis of the background of head and neck trauma. The majority of patients (consistent through all age groups) reported so-called whiplash-related tinnitus problems after a car accident. They also reported posttraumatic complaints of whiplash injury (also consistent through all the age groups but especially frequent in the age group 30-40 years). Car accidents and whiplash occur more frequently in the younger age groups, whereas reports of cerebral concussions are more frequent in the old-age group (> 70 years).

Anyone involved in any accident resulting in serious injuries, including tinnitus, should seek the best medical treatment and as soon as possible. The person should also consult with an experienced attorney who understands this particular injury as early as possible. Karlin Law Firm LLP, with offices in Tustin, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego County, is knowledgeable about Tinnitus in relation to auto accidents throughout California.