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What are the levels of a brain injury?

When a person suffers from a brain injury, he or she is sometimes evaluated based on the Glasgow Coma Scale. This scale takes several factors into account to give brain injuries a level of mild, moderate or severe. There are important differences between each level.

What is a mild traumatic brain injury?

A mild traumatic brain injury is one that involves a change in the mental state of the victim. The loss of consciousness is brief. In fact, it will sometimes only last a few minutes or a few seconds, if the loss of consciousness occurs at all. In some cases, the person will only seem confused or dazed, but no loss of consciousness occurs. In a mild TBI, scans of the brain will seem normal.

What is a moderate TBI?

A moderate TBI involves a loss of consciousness that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. These are usually the result of violent shaking or a non-penetrating hit to the head. The behavioral, physical and cognitive changes from the accident can be permanent, but might only last for months. The confusion a victim experiences can last days or even weeks. The victim will usually have to learn to deal with some life changes because of the injury.

What is a severe TBI?

A severe TBI usually involves extensive medical intervention, often using heroic measures. The damage from these injuries is often permanent. The tissues in the brain are sheared, ripped or crushed when a severe TBI occurs. Oftentimes, the victim will need lengthy rehabilitation and long hospital stays following the accident.

No matter what level of injury a victim has, the victim has the right to seek compensation for the injury from the person liable for the accident. It is vital to act quickly to ensure that the claim for compensation is filed within the Pennsylvania statute of limitations.

Source: Brain Injury Alliance Utah, "Types and Levels of Brain Injury," accessed April. 30, 2015

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