Coma and vegetative state after injury

When a person is seriously injured their injuries can sometimes lead to them being in a coma or vegetative state. Both are extremely serious diagnoses and the result of a coma is often uncertain. If a person progresses into a vegetative state, although they are awake, they may be left with ongoing cognitive and physical impairments and disabilities.

Caring for a person in a vegetative state can often be a big transition for family members and often requires financial assistance. If you would like further information about what to do if a loved one is in a coma or vegetative state as the result of an accident that was not their fault speak to one of our legal specialists today on 0203 816 0065 for free initial advice or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

 

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What is the difference between a coma and vegetative state?

It is a very difficult and upsetting time when a loved one experiences a brain jury which has resulted in a coma or vegetative state, and, although some people recover from a coma, it is possible for people to be left in a vegetative state.

Comas usually last anywhere up to four weeks, and the person:

  • Shows no signs of being awake
  • Shows no signs of being aware of their surroundings
  • Looks asleep
  • Does not respond to pain or voices

A vegetative state is when a person:

  • Is awake but shows no or little signs of awareness
  • Opens their eyes and also falls asleep
  • Has minimal reflexes, such as blinking
  • Doesn’t show meaningful responses eg. responding to a person’s voice
  • Doesn’t show signs of emotion

If a person is in a vegetative state for a prolonged period of time, it can either be considered to be:

  • A continuing vegetative state – when it lasts more than a month
  • A permanent vegetative state – when the state lasts more than six months if it was the result of a non-traumatic brain injury, or more than 12 months if it was the result of a traumatic brain injury

Making a compensation claim for a coma and/or vegetative state after injury

If a loved one has been diagnosed with an avoidable brain injury which has resulted in a coma and/or vegetative state, you may be entitled to compensation to help cope with the difficult circumstances you have found yourself in. Compensation can help with things such as medical appointments, equipment for your home, travel expenses, prolonged periods of care and so on.

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What is the process of making a claim with Stephensons?

Stephensons will initially take full details of your accident and injury and then submit your claim to the other side. If the other side accepts responsibility for the accident, Stephensons will proceed to obtain medical evidence, along with evidence in support of your financial losses, with a view to valuing your claim and attempting to reach settlement.

If liability for the accident is disputed, Stephensons will investigate the reasons for this and, if we are satisfied that the denial of liability can be overcome, we will proceed to gather all of the evidence required to proceed to a court hearing, if settlement cannot be reached. However, it is often still possible to reach settlement even when liability for the accident is denied. Stephensons are not afraid to tackle these difficult cases.

If a loved one has been diagnosed with brain injury resulting in a coma or vegetative state and you would like expert legal advice about making a claim, please contact Stephensons today on 0203 816 0065 for free initial advice or fill out our online enquiry form and someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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