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Why You May Experience Stomach Pain After a Pennsylvania Car Crash

man grabbing stomach in painYou should never ignore stomach pain after a car accident. The pain and discomfort you are experiencing could be a sign of a serious injury, such as internal bleeding or a rupture in your digestive tract that could cause a life-threatening infection.

If you experience stomach pain, fever, nausea, bloating or similar symptoms, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. After your injuries have been diagnosed and stabilized, you should consider talking to a licensed attorney about your crash. Schmidt Kramer’s Harrisburg vehicle accident lawyers have obtained millions for crash victims over more than 30 years serving the injured in central Pennsylvania.

There are no upfront fees with our services. Call us today at: (717) 727-1837.

Why You May Have Abdominal Pain After a Crash

People often tense up during a crash, and all this tension puts a lot of pressure on the stomach. It often takes days for all the tension to relax, which could result in stomach pain from a variety of medical problems, including:

Internal Organ Damage

Damage to any of the internal organs in the abdomen (kidney, liver, spleen, bile ducts, small and large intestine, etc.) can be life-threatening, especially if it is not treated right away. When one organ stops working as it should, it becomes more difficult for the rest of your body to keep you alive.

When pressure or blunt force trauma is applied to your organs, it can result in lacerations, causing your organs to bleed and empty into your abdominal cavity. This can result in bacteria entering your bloodstream, which could cause an infection in the lungs or your brain.

Examples of internal organ injuries from a car crash include:

  • Ruptured spleen
  • Appendicitis
  • Obstruction of your bowels

Seat Belt Syndrome

Your seat belt applies a significant amount of force when it tightens up during a collision to keep your body from being thrown too far forward. All this force could cause injury to your internal organs. In fact, a seat belt will apply almost 2.5 tons of force to a passenger who is 160 pounds.

Seat belt syndrome could result in a hernia, which occurs when part of your stomach or intestines pushes through your abdominal wall.

Internal Bleeding

Blood vessels can easily rupture during a collision. This could be the result of pressure from your seat belt or blunt force trauma from something else.

The danger of internal bleeding is there is a lot of blood in places where there should not be blood. This could result in a systemic infection, particularly if the issue is not treated right away.


Shock is a term used to describe what happens when there is not enough blood flowing through your body after a traumatic event, like an auto accident. Your body could go into shock because of significant bleeding, such as bleeding from an internal injury to your abdominal cavity.

Shock can also occur when someone experiences a severe fracture or a spinal cord injury.


This means inflammation in your peritoneum, which is the membrane that lines the inside of your abdomen. This condition develops when bacteria from your digestive system is released into your abdominal cavity. This occurs when there is a tear in your digestive tract, which could occur from compression of your internal organs.


This injury usually only affects the neck and upper back. However, your head and neck getting thrown forward and backward can also result in damage to your stomach. For example, blood vessels could get pressed against internal organs. Your stomach could press against your diaphragm, making it harder for you to breathe.

How Long Might It Take to Experience Symptoms of an Abdominal Injury?

Many car accidents cause damage that you can see, such as external bruising, cuts or lacerations or dislocated/broken bones. However, an internal injury might not cause visible symptoms until hours or days have passed. Internal bleeding will usually cause noticeable symptoms within one to three days. Sometimes it takes weeks for symptoms to show up.

Often, car crash injuries are masked by adrenalin. When you experience a traumatic event, your body releases adrenaline to protect you. This is part of the reason for delayed symptoms.

Despite the delay in the presentation of symptoms, you should not wait to go to the hospital. If you notice stomach pain or any other sign of an internal injury, go see a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of Organ Damage?

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a crash, you may have suffered an abdominal injury:

  • Bruising on your stomach
  • Tenderness in your abdomen
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Your belly being distended
  • Feeling bloated
  • Worsening stomach pain when you move
  • Lack of a fever, even though you feel nauseous
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Low blood pressure, also called hypotension
  • Little or no bowel movement
  • Inability to pass gas

What Are the Symptoms of Internal Bleeding?

Internal organ damage and internal bleeding commonly occur together. That means you may experience some of the symptoms above along with the following symptoms of internal bleeding in the abdomen:

  • Bleeding from your rectum
  • Bloody urine
  • Bloody stool
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness in your neck
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Loss of vision
  • Feeling confused

What Are the Symptoms of Shock?

Significant physical trauma could cause your body to go into shock. You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sweating profusely
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Pupils that are larger than normal
  • Cold skin
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Losing consciousness
  • Shallow breaths
  • Pain in your chest
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling weak

Can I File a Lawsuit Over Stomach Pain Following a Car Accident?

If you were injured in a Pennsylvania car accident you may be able to file a lawsuit or insurance claim to seek compensation for your damages. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means you can seek compensation from your personal injury protection insurance. The other driver may also be liable for your damages if he or she is at fault for the crash.

While you may be able to sue for medical costs, you may also be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Your injuries can be psychologically traumatizing and these damages can be included in a claim for compensation.

Contact Schmidt Kramer for Legal Help Following a Collision

Medical treatment for an internal injury can be particularly expensive. You may need surgery and close monitoring to ensure an infection does not develop or get worse. You may also be restricted from working for a significant period.

Recovering full compensation is going to be a challenge, even though you are dealing with your own insurance company.

That is why crash victims should give serious thought to contacting an experienced lawyer to manage the legal process. The award-winning attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have decades of combined experience and a record of success in the courtroom and in settlement negotiations.

Give us a call to learn more. There are no upfront fees with our services. Call (717) 727-1837.