Being involved in a car crash is a traumatic event for most people. As an injured victim, there is a lot to deal with, especially if you sustained severe injuries. Proving your injury claim is a critical part of seeking compensation for your damages. However, what if you experience memory loss after the crash and cannot provide a reliable account of what happened?
Need an experienced lawyer to help you with your claim? Our vehicle crash lawyers in Harrisburg help injured victims every day. We are ready to seek maximum compensation to help you recover from your injuries and other losses.
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What Causes Crash Victims to Suffer From Memory Loss?
Every crash victim’s experience is different. There is no one answer for why one person will suffer memory loss and someone else does not.
As a general rule, memory loss after a car crash may occur for various reasons, such as:
- Fight or flight because of a traumatic event: Crash victims may often block out what happened right after a crash. This is especially true in more severe collisions. Everyone reacts differently to trauma. Some people may be more likely to experience this type of short-term memory loss. They may even be unable to answer simple questions, such as when asked to give their name and other basic personal information.
- Memory loss due to a concussion: If you hit your head and sustain a concussion during the crash, you may feel confused about what happened. People with a concussion may also have a bad headache and experience nausea and vomiting. The good news is that after a few days (seven to 10), you should start to improve.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Over 20 percent of car crash victims may suffer a TBI in a car crash. The possibility of making a full recovery differs from one victim to another. It depends on many factors, including the severity of the head injury.
- Cognitive impairment: Sometimes a crash involving memory loss may be a more complicated situation. For instance, crash victims with early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s may be unable to recall anything about the crash.
- Substance abuse: Sometimes memory loss is not from the crash at all, but rather due to alcohol impairment or drug abuse. A driver who cannot recall what happened in this situation may even be the at-fault party for the crash
Types of Memory Loss That Are Common After a Car Crash
There are different types of memory loss crash victims may suffer in a collision. Some of the most common include;
- Post-traumatic amnesia – This type of memory loss is related to the trauma of being in an accident. Immediately following the collision, victims may initially be unable to recall anything about the accident. Usually this type of amnesia is short-lived.
- Anterograde amnesia – Victims who sustain a traumatic brain injury may experience this type of memory loss. Anterograde amnesia causes injured victims to lose their ability to create and hold onto new memories. However, they will likely fully remember their experienced and memories from before the crash.
- Retrograde amnesia – Victims with retrograde amnesia have no memory of things before the collision. They can, however, form new memories after the crash.
Although more rare, some crash victims may have anterograde and retrograde amnesia. Getting a detailed diagnosis and medical treatment is critical to their recovery. This is true regardless of what type of memory loss you may be experiencing.
There are various medical treatments that can help victims suffering from memory loss. Some examples include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy. Sometimes looking at old photos of friends and family members, even co-workers, may help victims to recover memories they have lost.
Common Symptoms Often Seen in Crash Victims With Memory Loss
In addition to being confused or dazed right after the incident, there are several symptoms to watch for that may indicate some type of amnesia, including:
- Experiencing ongoing mental fog
- Having trouble organizing thoughts
- Finding it hard to express things verbally
- Sudden onset of chronic headaches or migraines
- Anxiety, depression or nervousness
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Trouble sleeping
- Light and sound sensitivities
- Debilitating fatigue
- Unusual irritability and personality changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness/feeling lightheaded
If you or a loved one have any of these symptoms after a car crash, you should seek immediate medical care. Often victims who seek medical care without delay have a better chance of recovering.
Is There Any Treatment to Help Victims With Memory Loss?
There are treatments available to help victims suffering from memory loss after a car crash. Some victims, such as those with a minor form of memory loss, may begin to recover without medical intervention. However, for victims suffering from severe types of memory loss, such as those with a traumatic brain injury, there are treatments that can help.
The most important step in your physical recovery is to seek medical care. You also need a thorough medical examination to determine what type of memory loss you have. Once your doctor understands the type and extent of your memory loss, he or she can recommend treatment that fits your needs.
Suffering From Memory Loss After a Car Crash? Take These Steps to Protect Your Claim
Even if you have memory loss, there are things you can do to help protect your claim. First and foremost, seeking medical care should always be your top priority. Beginning treatment sooner can help to optimize your recovery and reduce the risk of your injuries getting worse.
The next step we strongly encourage is seeking legal help. When you have an attorney on your side, you can focus more fully on your physical recovery.
Your attorney can do the work of managing your case, which includes gathering evidence that supports your claim:
- Crash scene photos
- Police report
- Statements from credible witnesses
- Examining the vehicle damage
- Consulting with an accident construction expert
- Utilizing available camera footage
Additionally, your attorney can speak with third parties on your behalf, such as the insurance company, and negotiate for the full compensation you need.
Call Our Law Firm to Discuss Your Situation
At Schmidt Kramer, we work hard to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. We urge you to call as soon as possible after your crash, even if you are not sure you have a case.
What is your best chance at recovering compensation for memory loss after a car crash? Call our law firm for legal help sooner, not later. Even when we believe a case is winnable, we still need time to thoroughly investigate your crash and gather evidence that supports your claim.
Call today to get started. Your case review is completely free.
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