In a car accident, some types of injuries are immediately apparent. Lacerations and fractures, for example, are hard to miss.
Other types of injuries, including serious brain injuries, may not be obvious right away or may develop or worsen in the days and weeks following the crash. An upset stomach after a car accident, for example, can be a symptom of a number of injuries that range in severity from minor to potentially fatal. That’s why it’s important to always get a medical evaluation after an auto accident, even if you feel fine at the moment.
Causes of Upset Stomach After a Car Accident
Some people may experience digestive upset simply as a result of the stress of being in an auto accident. However, an upset stomach can indicate serious trauma as well. Nausea and vomiting are, for example, one of the first symptoms of a serious head injury.
A car accident is undoubtedly traumatic. In the aftermath of a crash, you might feel emotions such as fright, anxiety, or shock. These emotions affect the nervous system and cause some people to feel sick to their stomachs. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way, and in minor accidents, these symptoms will go away in a few days with rest and anti-nausea medication.
Seat Belt Trauma
Although seat belts and airbags are designed to keep us safe in an accident, they can also cause injury in their own right. In the sudden force of a crash, the seat belt can bruise or irritate your abdominal area, resulting in stomach discomfort. This is sometimes called “seat belt syndrome.”
Some abdominal soreness is common after a car accident. Severe accidents, however, may cause injuries like internal bleeding or organ damage. If your upset stomach is accompanied by abdominal bruising, rigidity, or swelling, it’s important to get checked out by your doctor.
If following a car accident, you have an upset stomach that is accompanied by dizziness or headaches, you may have suffered a head injury. Auto accidents can cause whiplash, blood clots, and traumatic brain injuries, all of which are known to worsen over time and may even become life-threatening.
Whiplash is an internal injury where the tissues in the neck are stretched beyond their normal range. Whiplash can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, fatigue, vision problems, and headache. According to NIH research, up to 50% of whiplash injuries cause vertigo and dizziness, both of which can lead to nausea or an upset stomach.
Like many car accident injuries, whiplash tends to get worse with time. Contact a doctor if you suspect you may have whiplash.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A number of brain injuries may be sustained in a car crash. Concussions, for example, are a type of traumatic brain injury where a sudden impact causes the brain to hit against the skull. The resulting brain damage can cause a range of symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
An upset stomach can also be an early symptom of severe brain injuries that may worsen over time and lead to serious chronic health problems or death. Immediate medical treatment is crucial to prevent further damage, and could even save your life.
Financial Consequences of Car Accident Injuries
Most car crash injuries are fairly minor. Hopefully, you will get a clean bill of health from your doctor and go back to work right away. More serious injuries, on the other hand, can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life.
When a brain injury impairs cognitive function, it may require long-term rehabilitative treatment and could cause lifelong disability. Victims of irreversible brain damage may need 24-hour professional care for the rest of their lives. MRIs, CT scans, surgeries, and hospitalizations may be required.
All this comes at a significant cost, especially if you are no longer able to work and earn a living. It’s been estimated that traumatic brain injury treatment could cost a patient up to $3 million over his or her lifetime.
Help from a Worcester Car Accident Attorney
If you are experiencing an upset stomach after a car accident, please get medical treatment as soon as possible. This can be a symptom of severe injuries, such as internal organ damage and traumatic brain injury, that require extensive medical attention.
They may warrant expert legal attention as well. If the symptoms you’ve developed are affecting your ability to lead your normal life and earn a living, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your lost wages so you can get the care that you need.
Worcester car accident attorney Peter Ventura has decades of experience protecting the rights of accident victims and helping people like you rebuild their lives. Please contact our office today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.