Caring for a loved one in a coma after a car accident can be emotionally challenging. It’s distressing to see someone who was once full of life now unable to wake up, talk or move. Though recovery is possible, it can take weeks to months or even years. Families must be patient and resilient while waiting for their loved ones to regain consciousness.
The recovery process for a car accident coma
People sometimes fall into a coma after a major car accident. The force of the impact can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI), leading to a state of unconsciousness. Additionally, there are instances where a doctor may intentionally induce a coma using medication to allow the brain to heal.
To determine the severity of the coma, doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale when monitoring the patient. It looks at the patient’s ability to open their eyes, respond verbally or move. Generally, a higher score indicates a better chance of regaining consciousness.
Coma patients require extended hospital stays, comprehensive medical examinations and continuous monitoring. While comas rarely last past four weeks, the cost of treatment can still be quite high. In general, many coma patients do recover, although some may need additional therapy and care to regain a normal quality of life.
The price of recovery
On average, staying in the ICU for at least three days can cost about $30,000. Even if they want to, the patient and their family members may be unable to pay for treatment. The patient’s personal injury protection policies (PIP) should help shoulder some of the expenses and lost wages, but it may not be enough.
A TBI-related coma falls under a severe injury for which the patient or their family can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Pursuing compensation this way may allow the patient to recover damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
During such challenging times, families may find themselves working tirelessly to help their loved one in a coma regain consciousness. However, the victim’s family may also need support. In such cases, a personal injury lawyer could help address any family concerns and provide guidance on the best legal course of action to take.