Car accidents range in severity from a minor bump to a total catastrophe. Many crashes are somewhere in between: not forceful enough to be life-threatening, but still enough to wound drivers.

Non-fatal accidents can still cause damage that takes weeks or months to mend – if at all. After a collision, drivers should see their doctor immediately. It’s likely that one of the three following injuries might have occurred.

Perhaps the most infamous injury is whiplash. This happens when the rapid movement of a crash strains a person’s neck, displacing or tearing its fragile components. Victims might have neck pain or the inability to move their head normally the next day. Typically, a doctor will assess the damage before prescribing rest, physical rehabilitation and pain medication as necessary. Whiplash’s effect on the neck could last long after treatment is complete, unfortunately.

Brain trauma, like whiplash, is also related to dangerous motion. In an accident, the brain might slam into the skull. Bruised brain tissue is also known as a concussion. Concussions can be mild or severe, which affects a driver’s recovery. Mild cases might only call for rest and activity limits whereas severe cases may need hospitalization.

Broken bones are also common and very painful crash injuries. On impact, the force can fracture the bone either fully or only partially. Older adults are often more prone to breaking a bone in minor accidents. Some victims might not feel a fracture right away, but it’s still problematic. The healing process is slow as the body repairs itself. In extreme cases, surgery might be the best option.

Even these minor injuries cause agony and sudden medical costs for crash victims. Due to the often arduous and expensive treatments, many victims turn to an attorney to make sure they receive the highest award possible.