A coma is a state of deep unconsciousness in which a person lacks both awareness and wakefulness. A vegetative state is when a person is awake but has lost awareness of their surroundings. When is a person said to be in a prolonged vegetative state?  A person is said to be in a persistent vegetative state if their condition last more than 4 weeks, or in a permanent vegetative state if their condition has remained the same for more than 1 year.

Coma or vegetative states can result from brain injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and closed head injuries suffered in a car or truck accident
  • Brain damage from a serious slip and fall
  • Loss of oxygen and brain injury during surgery or from cardiac arrest or stroke
  • A seizure caused by a medication error or a high fever
  • An infection, such as sepsis
  • Loss of oxygen in a near drowning

While most comatose people do recover within a few weeks of their brain injury, each person and each case is unique.  They are like a thumbprint, unique to the individual.  For those in a vegetative state about 50 percent recover within 6 months. The chance of regaining consciousness after 1 year is relatively low statistically speaking. Even for those people who do recover, there is typically a long period of time when they must relearn prior skills.  If your loved one is in a coma due to an injury caused by someone else's negligence, you need to protect their financial interests and those of your family. The costs of medical and nursing care will be significant; as will be the cost of rehabilitation services if they do awaken.

In our years of helping the families of injured people, we have helped hundreds of families achieve the financial settlement they needed and deserved. We make sure that you get the support you need as we progress through a personal injury case.