Stomach Pain After Car Accidents: Causes, Signs, and What to Do if You’re Injured

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Stomach pain after a car accident may be a sign of a serious injury and require emergency attention. Pain in your stomach may indicate internal bleeding, organ damage, blood vessel damage, or other severe injuries. Delayed symptoms are also common and may result in permanent damage or death.

If you have sustained an injury to your stomach, abdominal area, or internal organs as a result of a motor vehicle accident, seek medical attention first. Then contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at David Bryant Law. We will provide you with sound legal advice on your options and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries.

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Common Causes of Stomach Pain After a Car Accident

Here are the most common causes of abdominal pain after an auto accident and when to seek medical care:

Injuries From Seat Belts or Airbags

Sometimes in saving your life, seat belts and airbags can also cause injuries. Seat belts can constrict tightly enough to hurt you. Airbags deploy hard and fast enough to cause internal injuries to the abdomen and stomach. The upper band of the seat belt or the deployment of an airbag can also lead to serious injuries and chest pain after a car accident.


We don’t often associate whiplash with abdominal trauma, but the two are related. The most common symptom of whiplash is spinal trauma and back pain. However, the force of being jerked back and forth can also tear or bruise internal organs or blood vessels. If it affects the intestinal tract, whiplash can lead to digestive problems.

Blunt Force Trauma

This all-encompassing term refers to any injuries caused by something hitting the abdomen. In particular, it includes debris, car parts, or other objects. In addition to stomach injuries, blunt force trauma may also result in painful injuries to the hips and other body parts.

Organ Compression

Traumatic compression is another cause of abdominal pain after a car accident. This often affects the liver, kidneys, or bile duct, sometimes causing lacerations.

Signs of Serious Stomach Injury After a Car Accident

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a car accident, seek immediate medical care. Failing to do so could lead to serious long-term issues or death.

Generalized Stomach Pain

If you have any kind of persistent stomach pain after a car accident, you should seek medical attention. This goes for both pain in a specific part of your abdomen as well as generalized soreness.

Bruising on the Abdomen

Bruising on the abdomen is another good indication that you have internal damage. It might mean that your organs are damaged or bleeding.


Internal injuries may also manifest as bloating or swelling in the abdomen. This is a sign that you may have organ bleeding. It can also mean that one of your organs is damaged, and your body is trying to heal it. In particular, bloating can indicate abdominal trauma and possibly damage to the stomach itself.

Diarrhea or Gastrointestinal Distress

It is common to have diarrhea, gas, or general stomach distress after a traumatic event like a car accident. However, it can also be a cause for concern. In some cases, these symptoms may indicate injury to the intestinal tract.

Stomach Injuries That Can Happen During a Car Accident

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Internal bleeding: This generally means you are bleeding into your abdominal cavity. This is a serious and life-threatening injury that needs to be addressed immediately by medical professionals. Internal bleeding can happen either from damage to organs or blood vessels in your abdomen.

Internal bruising: You may also sustain bruising to your organs.

Organ damage: Any of your abdominal organs may be injured during a car accident and can manifest as unspecified abdominal pain.

Seat belt syndrome: This refers to injuries sustained from your seat belt locking against you during impact. This can involve bruising of the abdominal wall and damage to organs.

Whiplash: Whiplash usually affects the neck and spinal cord but can also cause organ compression and tearing.

Systemic infection: Infection from bleeding or torn organs can set in quickly. Sepsis is one of the most common causes of death after a car accident.

Organ aggravation: Car accidents may also cause organ aggravation, including trauma-induced appendicitis.

Blood vessel damage: In addition to your organs, you may also damage blood vessels in your abdomen. This can lead to similar symptoms and bleeding.

Dealing with Delayed Stomach Pain Symptoms Following a Car Accident

Not every injury becomes apparent immediately after your car accident. Delayed symptoms from a car accident are surprisingly common.

Interior bruising and bleeding usually exhibit symptoms between 24 and 72 hours after your collision. However, some injuries may not become apparent for several weeks.

Stomach pain after a car accident should never be ignored. If you start to feel pain in your stomach or abdomen or start seeing the signs of abdominal trauma, seek the help of a doctor as soon as you can.

How to Recognize the Signs of Abdominal Trauma

Along with bloating, bruising, pain, or gastrointestinal distress, you may experience other symptoms. These can occur on their own or along with symptoms that point more definitively to abdominal trauma.

Fever: A fever after a car accident, even a low one, is a cause for medical treatment. This indicates that you may have a growing infection due to internal injuries.

Excessive Fatigue: Fatigue after a car accident may be a normal way of recovering from physical and emotional trauma. Or it may indicate that you have a serious injury or infection.

Back Pain: Back pain may also point to an injured organ, such as a kidney. You might notice the pain radiating from the back into the hips, buttocks, or legs.

Dizziness or Fainting: If you feel dizzy, faint, or experience lightheadedness after a car accident, it could point to hidden internal bleeding. As you lose blood, you will become weaker, so it’s important to act fast.

Can You Sue For Stomach Pain or Diarrhea After a Car Accident?

If you experience stomach pain or gastrointestinal distress after a car accident, you may be able to file an injury claim.

For instance, if another driver was probably at fault for your collision, you may be able to sue them for pain and suffering compensation. Likewise, you may be able to sue for financial damages, including lost wages and medical bills.

Should your insurance company refuse to cover what it promised under no-fault insurance, you could sue for similar financial damages.

Lawsuits are often slow-moving and can take several years, but they may be worth it to compensate accident victims for the cost of medical bills and any emotional toll. An experienced car accident attorney can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit and negotiating a fair settlement for your injuries.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You

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Getting in a car crash is a traumatic event on its own. Unfortunately, it often happens that the medical ramifications continue long after you walk away from the scene. Unusual stomach pain might indicate that you have a serious internal injury.

If you have organ damage after a car accident, an attorney can help you understand what compensation you might be entitled to. David Bryant Law has helped countless clients after vehicle crashes. Contact us today for a free consultation to get the help that you need!

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David G. Bryant is certified to practice in all state courts in Kentucky, and federal courts in the Eastern and Western districts of Kentucky, Southern District of New York, Southern District of West Virginia, Northern District of Ohio, Middle District of Tennessee, and Western District of Pennsylvania. He is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.