The Difference Between a Mild, Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

You may have heard the phrase, “There is no such thing as a minor brain injury.” This is true, as all traumatic brain injuries have the potential to have serious implications for a victim. However, when a brain injury is diagnosed, medical providers will classify it as mild, moderate or severe. This designation can determine the victim’s prognosis for the future.

What Is a Mild Brain Injury?

A physician will carefully analyze the extent of the damage inflicted on the brain as well as the symptoms the patient is experiencing to classify a brain injury. Mild brain injuries are the least severe type. Most patients fully recover from mild brain injuries within a few weeks to about three months. The most common type of mild brain injury is a concussion.

Although each patient is unique, the symptoms of a mild brain injury can include:

  • Headache
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Brief loss of consciousness, in some cases

The medical imaging scans of a mild traumatic brain injury may appear normal, with no visible damage to the brain. Treatment often involves rest, eating a balanced diet and avoiding any subsequent brain injuries while in recovery. Some patients may experience post-concussion syndrome, where the symptoms of a mild brain injury last longer than usual.

What Is a Moderate to Severe Brain Injury?

A moderate traumatic brain injury is more serious than a mild brain injury. Its effects can be more noticeable and last longer than a mild brain injury. If a large amount of damage has been inflicted on the brain and the patient is exhibiting significant symptoms, a doctor may classify it as a severe brain injury. Severe brain injuries can have permanent symptoms.

Signs of a moderate to severe brain injury may include:

  • Repeated nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent or severe headache
  • Memory loss
  • Extreme confusion
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Sensory changes or problems
  • Clear fluid leaking from the nose or ears
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness for minutes to hours
  • Inability to wake up
  • Coma or death

The long-term effects of a moderate to severe brain injury can include changes in personality and behavior, cognitive challenges or deficits, motor function disability, and trouble communicating with others. Even with treatments such as surgeries, medications, therapies and rehabilitation, a victim may not be able to fully recover from a moderate to severe brain injury.

Collecting Financial Compensation for a Brain Injury in Washington

Common causes of traumatic brain injuries in Washington include motor vehicle accidents, falls, workplace accidents, diving accidents, being struck by objects, medical malpractice and acts of violence. Holding someone accountable for your brain injury can help you move forward with greater peace of mind.

Any level of brain injury can have a noticeable impact on your physical health, mental and emotional state, and cognitive abilities. In Washington, if your brain injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness or fault, you have the right to file a traumatic brain injury claim in Vancouver against the at-fault party.

A successful personal injury claim could result in compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, loss of consortium, and more. To learn more about your legal rights and options after suffering a mild, moderate or severe brain injury in a preventable accident in Washington, contact NW Injury Law Center for a free consultation.

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