Whether an accident victim is diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) – whether mild, moderate or severe – recovery is different for each person. But there are some general guidelines regarding what patients might expect and length of recovery depending on severity of the injury.
Recovery Time for a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
The majority of brain injuries are minor. Recovery is usually complete with no lasting effects or symptoms. However, different factors may still impact recovery. For instance, the longer a loss of consciousness, the longer it may take to recover. Recovery might also be delayed in older persons.
In general, most people recover within a week to a month. But it could take several months in some cases. The process may be faster when the patient gets an adequate amount of rest and eases back into activities.
Even with a mild TBI, some patients could develop a condition called postconcussive syndrome, where symptoms persist for several weeks or even months. Sometimes it interferes significantly with accomplishing daily tasks.
The following are just some of the symptoms patients might experience after a mild TBI:
- sensitivity to light;
- difficulty concentrating;
- blurred/double vision;
- trouble thinking;
- depression and anxiety;
- headaches; and
- memory problems.
Recovery Time for a Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
With a more serious TBI, even if the recovery is good, there can still be ongoing symptoms that are long-term or permanent. Again, it will look different for each patient, though rehabilitation may help progress the recovery.
The following are some of the possible effects of a moderate to severe TBI:
- changes in personality;
- emotional swings;
- visual disturbances;
- ringing in ears;
- memory problems;
- speech/language impairments; and
- inability to concentrate.
Recovery in these areas may take several months, a year, or longer. There may be improvement over the initial several months, but it could take a couple of years to fully recover. However, for some the outcome can be very poor.
A moderate to severe TBI could result in death or a vegetative state that lasts weeks, months or indefinitely. With a minimally conscious state (where there is some evidence of awareness but inability to respond or communicate), it can take weeks or months to come out. However, there could still be severe long-term mental and physical impairments even after emerging.
How Recovery Time for a TBI Factors into an Accident Claim
If someone else’s careless or reckless actions caused a TBI in an accident, it’s important to know the full scope of those injuries before pursuing compensation. Even with a mild TBI, claimants shouldn’t settle too quickly because they may not be fully aware of the effects of the injury. This is especially true with a moderate to severe TBI.
An injury claim should address previous, current, and future medical bills, as well as any lost wages from missing time from work during recovery. Those with moderate to severe TBI may miss several weeks or months of work, and some may be unable to return to work at all. Length of recovery time could also influence the value of pain and suffering damages.
Be sure to discuss the full scope of the injury and damages with a personal injury attorney. If you’re in Denver or nearby, contact D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation so you can review your case and eligibility to collect compensation for damages.