The Difference between Moderate and Severe Brain Injuries

Moderate to severe brain injuries typically encompass concussion, hemorrhage, significant loss of consciousness, coma, and/or skull fractures. In injuries like these, the patient’s very survival may be an issue. Get informed on the differences between moderate and severe brain injuries so you know what to expect if you or a loved one receives one.

Moderate Brain Injuries

Approximately 8-10% of all traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are considered moderate TBI, though this number may be as high as 28%. Several factors come into play when diagnosing TBI as moderate, including the following:

  • Posttraumatic amnesia lasting between one and 24 hours

  • Length of unconsciousness between 20 minutes and six hours

The area of the brain that’s affected by an injury will play a role in the patient’s symptoms and recovery. For example, if the injury occurs in the temporal lobes, seizure or temporal lobe epilepsy may result. If multiple sections of the brain are injured, the patient may experience a variety of symptoms, some of which may be long-lasting.

In terms of recovery from moderate TBI, approximately 28% of patients diagnosed with a moderate TBI made a “good recovery” on the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), which projects a patient’s outcome after brain injury.

Severe Brain Injuries

Severe brain injuries constitute approximately 10% of all traumatic brain injuries. Factors that determine a TBI is severe include the following:

  • Posttraumatic amnesia lasting between one and seven days

  • Length of unconsciousness greater than six hours

Severe TBI has significant effects on an individual’s emotional, cognitive, vocational, and psychosocial health. Individuals affected by severe TBI are rarely able to return to work or independent living. They often require extensive rehabilitation and medical treatment. Typically, families of those sustaining severe TBI face monumental financial and emotional burdens.

If someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Scarlett Law Group, we have provided top-tier legal guidance for clients in catastrophic and brain injury for over 25 years, and we have recovered millions for clients. We aren’t afraid to take your case to court, and we will fight for you.


Contact Scarlett Law Group at (415) 688-2176 to learn how we can help you.

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