For those whose recovery is not yet complete, the rate and trajectory of recovery  provides further help in predicting how long it is likely to take and what the final outcome will be. Careful examination at repeated intervals includes the assessment of physical function including movement, coordination, sensation including special senses like vision and hearing, ability to communicate using language, and basic mental or cognitive ability.

It is equally important to know what the injured person can still do in relation to personal independence and communicating with other people, whether their mood suggests anxiety or depression, and whether there has been a change in their behaviour.