While there are plenty of car accident injury symptoms that are more debilitating, memory loss could be one of the scariest, most unnerving symptoms for crash victims.
If you cannot remember some aspects of the crash, or you cannot remember any of it, you may be concerned about your ability to seek compensation for your damages. Is the insurance company going to deny your claim? How do you prove what happened if you cannot remember it?
Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced Lafayette-based auto accident lawyers discuss memory loss after car accidents and how it may affect your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Call today for legal assistance: (337) 984-8020. No upfront costs.
Why do Some Crash Victims Suffer Memory Loss?
Most people who suffer memory loss after a car accident have traumatic brain injuries, like concussions. They may have suffered a blow to the head during the collision, such as if they hit their head on the window or dashboard. Your head could also whip backward after impact and hit the headrest so hard you suffer a concussion or another type of brain injury.
That said, you could suffer a brain injury even if you do not get hit in the head. If your head and neck get whipped forward and backward during impact, this motion could be enough to cause a concussion. You may think you can only suffer a neck injury from this type of motion, but sometimes neck pain accompanies a brain injury.
Damage to the brain could also result from an open-head injury. For example, something (debris, glass shards, etc.) could break through the windshield and hit your head hard enough to break through your skull.
While memory loss is almost always because of a brain injury, you may also suffer memory loss because of:
- Alcohol or drug abuse – Drivers who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs may struggle to remember the crash.
- Pre-accident medical issues – Crash victims who were already suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s may have trouble remembering the crash, in addition to many other events.
- Emotional trauma – Sometimes people respond to trauma by forgetting about the traumatic event. This happens because the victim’s brain is in survival mode, which makes it harder to make new memories.
How Long Will I Have Post-Crash Memory Loss?
You could have post-crash memory loss for quite some time. The duration of your memory loss will depend on the severity of your injury. The more severe your brain injury, the longer your memory issues are likely to last.
Some people may have memory loss for a matter of minutes or hours after the crash. Other people may regain their memories weeks later. Some people may struggle with memory issues for months or years after the crash. The duration of memory loss may also depend on the effectiveness of treatment.
What are the Types of Amnesia/Memory Loss?
Memory loss is typically divided into three main categories:
- Post-traumatic amnesia – This refers to memory loss immediately after a traumatic event. You may simply be confused about some of what happened. Your memories may come back soon after the crash.
- Anterograde amnesia – This is a memory issue that prevents you from forming new memories. Some victims may say it feels like they blacked out right after the crash.
- Retrograde amnesia – This is a condition that causes you to forget things that happened before the accident. You might not remember significant events in your life.
How Does Memory Loss Affect Your Louisiana Car Accident Claim?
You can still seek compensation for damages if you do not remember the crash. There are many other ways to prove the crash was caused by negligence.
For example, the police report may include the officer’s opinion about what happened. Pictures from the scene, particularly the damage to the vehicles involved, can provide compelling evidence. Witness statements can also provide powerful evidence, especially when these statements are backed up by other evidence.
When you receive medical treatment and are diagnosed with memory loss, the doctor will document the reason for your memory loss. This helps connect your injury to the crash.
The insurance company is probably going to call your credibility into question. Their argument is that your memory is unreliable, so how can the insurance company trust your statements. However, if your attorney presents strong evidence about the crash, the insurance company’s arguments are less likely to hold up. Your statements might not matter much because of the other evidence your lawyer presents.
It is important to note that memory loss is just one of many reasons why crash victims need help from an experienced attorney. Galloway Jefcoat’s attorneys know how to prove car accident cases, as we have many years of experience recovering millions for accident victims.
Symptoms of Memory Loss
There are many symptoms that may accompany your short-term or long-term memory loss, including:
- Not being able to multi-task
- Struggling to concentrate
- Unusual fatigue
- Not being able to find the words you want to say
- Feeling sensitive to light or sound
- Increased anxiety
- Being unable to learn new things or form new memories
- Being unable to organize thoughts in your head
- Behavior/personality changes
- Increased irritability
- Frequent headaches
- Ringing in your ears
How is Memory Loss Treated?
One of the most important parts of treating memory loss is talking to doctors about it. Many people who are suffering from memory problems are ashamed to admit it. They may fear that people will not take them seriously because there is no objective way to prove they have memory loss.
It is vital to seek treatment immediately. Doctors can determine if your memories are likely to return over time or if you need more intensive treatment. For example, you may need medication or therapy to help you recover your memories. Doctors need to determine treatment on an individual basis.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Your Auto Accident Claim
Not remembering a traumatic event like a car crash can be scary. If you have post-crash memory loss, and the crash was caused by another driver’s negligence, you need an experienced lawyer’s help.
A lawyer can manage every step of the legal process, advocating for your best interests. That way you are free to focus on treating your memory loss and other crash injuries.
We take cases on contingency, which means there are no upfront costs for our services. We do not get paid for our services.
Give us a call today for legal assistance: (337) 984-8020.