What to Know About a Coma After a Car Accident
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on May 11, 2022 in Auto Accident
Having someone you love admitted into the hospital for something unexpected, like a car accident, is terrifying, especially when their injuries place them into a coma. As a loved one, it is entirely natural to feel frightened and unsure of what to do next or how to help.
What You Should Know if You Have a Loved One in a Coma
If you have found yourself in this unfortunate situation, knowing more about comas after car accidents and what to expect might help to ease some of your anxiety.
What Exactly is a Coma?
A coma, also known as a persistent vegetative state, is simply a deep state of unconsciousness. This persistent vegetative state is not the same as brain death, as individuals in states of coma are alive. Although they are still alive, they are incapable of moving or responding to their environment.
Comas can result from a complication of an underlying illness or from a sudden injury. People who are in comas lack thinking abilities and awareness of their surroundings. However, they still retain non-cognitive function and regular sleep patterns. Although they lose their higher brain functions, other essential functions remain operative, like breathing and circulation. Some spontaneous movements may occur, such as eye movement, crying, or laughing; they still cannot speak or respond to directions.
Comas Typically Aren’t What You See in Movies
Hollywood usually depicts comas as a permanent state of unconsciousness with no realistic hope of recovery, but these television and film portrayals are typically exaggerated for dramatic effect. In real life, the outcome depends on the cause, severity, and site of your loved one’s neurological damage. Also, comas rarely last more than two to four weeks, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
What to Expect if Your Loved One Emerges From a Coma After a Car Accident
People who emerge from comas may have various physical, cerebral, and psychological complications. Typically, they will require special attention throughout their recovery as they regain the ability to perform basic tasks.
Waking up from a coma is a slow, gradual process. Everyone progresses differently, with some never seeing any progression beyond very basic responses and others recovering full awareness and consciousness reasonably quickly. Some may remain in their vegetative state for years or even decades after an accident.
Explore Your Legal Options if a Loved One Is in a Coma Because of a Car Accident
In Oregon, victims of car accidents resulting from negligence are eligible for compensation recovery. When you partner with a Rizk Law lawyer, we will focus on making sure that medical expenses and lost wages are compensated fairly.
If you have endured a coma or have a loved one still suffering through a coma because of a car accident, contact us today to discuss your legal options. We offer a free review of your situation and will work diligently to help you receive the justice and compensation you and your family deserve. Call us at (503) 245-5677 or submit a completed contact form to speak with one of our Oregon car accident attorneys.