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What is the recovery process for brain injury victims?

A traumatic brain injury involves the death of brain cells, so it's miraculous that those who suffer from a brain injury can recover at all. The fact that brain cells do not appear to regenerate makes the recovery from brain injuries especially miraculous. In fact, scientists and research physicians are still unclear on the manner by which the brain is able to recover.

There are, however, theories as to why the brain can recover. One possibility is that sometimes neurons are not completely destroyed, but simply swollen or bruised, so when they get better, function returns. There's also the very real possibility that healthy neurons take over the jobs of damaged neurons over time, as new connections among the remaining healthy neurons grow.

Although the degree of recovery from brain injuries cannot be prevented, and in a lot of cases, a complete recovery never occurs, the healing process does go through identifiable stages. In some situations, victims will reach a specific stage of recovery and progress will stop. In others, a complete recovery is possible. Generally, though, the transition time between the stages is slow, and all patients will recover at different paces. Usually, the biggest improvements happen during the earliest stages of recovery.

Since the overall recovery process is slow, personal injury lawyers representing traumatic brain injury victims will usually want to be sure they know the full extent of the recovery -- and potential past and future financial damages -- before reaching a settlement. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another party's negligence, you might be able to seek justice and financial restitution in court. Plaintiffs in such a lawsuit, however, may need to be patient

Source: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, "Brain Injury: Severity Levels and the Recovery Process," accessed March 03, 2017

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