Many people who are involved in serious car accidents experience nausea and vomiting in the immediate aftermath. This may be the product of nothing more than anxiety and nerves. However, it could also be a sign of something far more serious. For this reason, you should seek immediate medical attention. You need to have the condition diagnosed and, if necessary, to begin receiving appropriate treatment. Consider the following serious injuries that may be linked to sickness after an accident:
- Whiplash – Severe neck and back strain can result from one’s head rapidly snapping back and forth in a crash – especially if it is a rear-end collision. These injuries can lead to extreme pain in the neck and upper back. The pain may grow so intense that it makes a person feel sick to the stomach or even induce vomiting. In fact, research suggests that whiplash can often also involve brain stem injuries. About 50 percent of all cases involve vertigo.
- Fractures – When a bone is broken, the pain can be incredible. Pain often leads to nausea and vomiting as well as a general feeling of lethargy and sickness.
- Soft tissue damage – Soft tissue damage is one of the most common types of injuries that people suffer in car accidents. It is far from a minor injury. It occurs when internal tissue (ligaments, tendons or muscle) are torn, bruised or strained to the extent that it creates pain and inflammation. Soft-tissue damage can, at times, be very severe. This is because it can take a very long time to heal.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – When a person’s head shakes back and forth violently, this can cause the brain to strike against the inside walls of the skull. Physical bruising and trauma to the brain can lead to serious and permanent damage that carries lifelong effects. TBI can be very difficult to diagnose, unless you are being treated by a neurologist or other trained expert who knows what to look for.
- Concussions – A concussion is considered to be a mild form of TBI. Nausea and vomiting are tell-tale signs of a concussion. If you struck your head in the accident and began feeling sick to your stomach, a concussion could be very likely.
- Internal bleeding – Nausea, vomiting or feeling sick after a severe impact could indicate a potential internal injury such as internal bleeding, a rupture or even a punctured or lacerated internal organ. If you see a lot of bruising to your abdomen, chest, ribs or back, it could be a good sign of internal bleeding.
Get Medical Attention – and Legal Help – After Your Car Accident
For many different reasons, you absolutely need to get emergency medical attention after a car accident, regardless of whether you feel injured or experience nausea or vomiting. If emergency medical responders do not take you to the hospital, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. The reasons why this makes sense are:
- Your health should always be your top priority – The human body can be very fragile. Even seemingly minor car accidents can cause bruising, fractures, lacerations, internal bleeding and damage to your nerves and tendons. You can suffer brain injuries and concussions. A doctor will know how to examine you for injuries and may order you to undergo certain tests. The doctor will also be able to immediately start your course of treatment.
- You need to document your injury – Of course, getting immediate medical care also documents your injury. Insurance companies love to argue that injury victims are not hurt simply because they waited “too long” to go to a doctor. By getting emergency medical care, you are protecting your claim and making sure that it is clear when and how you were injured.
- You have to preserve your rights – Many insurance adjusters will try to downplay your injuries and attempt to make it sound like you were not really hurt. If a person goes to a doctor the next day, the insurance company argues that the injury must not have hurt bad enough or been serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Of course, if the person goes to the ER and is found to be OK, then the insurance company will argue they were faking and just getting unnecessary treatment. It’s a vicious and illogical circle, which is why it is so important to work closely with an attorney throughout your claim.
Ultimately, you should not have to worry about the insurance company. Do what makes sense. If you are in a crash, you should go to a hospital and get checked out as soon as possible. This protects you and ensures that your injuries are recorded, and it shows everyone that your health and safety were important to you. This is simply the best plan of action after a car accident.
Don’t Delay Talking to a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
As soon as your condition is stable, and you are in a position to do so, you should begin the process of working with an attorney. Even if you are not yet sure you need help, it costs nothing to inquire. As experienced personal injury attorneys, Marks & Harrison is one of Virginia’s oldest and largest auto accident firms.
We represent clients statewide through 10 conveniently located offices. It is always free to sit down with one of our attorneys for an initial case consultation. So, you really have nothing to lose. There is no obligation, and we collect no fees upfront. In fact, our firm only receives a fee if we are able to collect compensation on your behalf. Contact us to learn more or schedule a free consultation today.
Charles W. Davis, Jr. is a Tappahannock native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. He worked as a clerk at Marks & Harrison for two years before joining our law firm. For two years in a row, he was selected by his peers for the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 list.