Traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe injuries suffered in motor vehicle and workplace accidents. The recovery process can be long and sometimes unpredictable.
What should patients expect while recovering from a traumatic brain injury?
Stages of recovery
The first few weeks after a moderate or severe injury, changes in brain chemistry, swelling and bleeding may affect the way the brain functions. The patient may have little awareness of surroundings during this time. As the swelling reduces, the patient’s brain function usually improves and awareness increases.
The patient may act confused and disoriented during the early stages of recovery. It is critical for patients in this phase of recovery to have assistance from a trusted friend, family member or attorney to help them with medical and legal issues.
Length of recovery
Patients usually make the most progress in the first six months after their injury. However, the entire recovery process may take years. People with a traumatic brain injury need to maintain healthy behaviors, such as avoiding alcohol and drugs and getting exercise. Additionally, the patient should take into account the potential length of recovery before settling any claims related to the accident that caused the injury.
Not every patient responds to recovery from a traumatic brain injury in the same way. This level of uncertainty makes it particularly important to keep the potential need for ongoing medical treatment and the long-term effects of the injury in mind when pursuing compensation for a traumatic brain injury caused by the negligence of another party.