How Memory Loss Could Impact Your Claim for Compensation

pointing pen at brain mriSometimes crash victims do not remember much of anything about their crash. Sometimes this is because they suffered a traumatic brain injury that has created gaps in their memory.

If someone was severely injured in the crash or the victim almost died, memory loss may be a side effect of the emotional trauma suffered by the victim.

There are other reasons someone may have impaired memory or no memory of the crash. Our attorneys discuss memory loss after a car crash below, including how it may impact a claim for compensation.

If you were injured in a crash, you can meet with one of our attorneys in a free consultation to discuss legal options. We have helped numerous crash victims and have a proven track record of securing compensation.

How a Crash Could Cause Memory Loss

A traumatic brain injury is one of the common reasons crash victims have memory loss. For example, crash victims often suffer concussions from a violent blow or jolt to the head. They could hit their head on the steering wheel, slam back into the headrest or strike their head on something else inside the car.  There have been cases where outside objects break through the windshield and strike victims in the head.

It is important to note a concussion could result from a crash in which the victim did not suffer a blow to the head. The victim’s head could get thrown forward and backward so violently that it causes the brain to move and hit the inside of the skull.

A severe concussion could impair short and long-term memory, so the victim may forget things that happened long before the crash, in addition to the crash itself.

Crash victims may also forget the incident because of:

  • Substance abuse/impairment – If the victim was impaired by alcohol or drugs, he or she may not remember what happened. This may affect the victim’s ability to seek compensation because the victim is likely at fault for the crash.
  • Cognitive impairment from before the crash – Older drivers may have cognitive impairment because of a condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Emotional response/survival response – When someone is involved in a bad crash, such as one in which they nearly died or someone else died, they may forget about it as part of an emotional response. The brain is focused on survival instead of creating memories, which is why victims may not remember much about the crash.

Building a Case if You Cannot Remember the Crash

There are various pieces of evidence your lawyer may use to build your case for compensation. For example, the police report documents the crash and may indicate which driver the officer believes is at fault. If the other driver was issued a citation, it can go a long way in proving negligence.

Eyewitness testimony can also be useful, such as testimony from another driver or pedestrians who were in the area at the time of the crash. However, it depends on how reliable the witness is and what he or she was able to see.

There may be pictures of the crash taken by witnesses, law enforcement or others involved in the crash. These images may help your lawyer gain a better understanding of what happened.

Video footage of the crash can also help validate a case. For example, there may be a surveillance camera in the area that captured the crash. Traffic cameras may have also captured the collision.

If the vehicles involved have event data recorders, data from these devices can help the victim’s attorney determine what happened. These devices store a variety of data, including speed, braking, acceleration, deployment of airbags, use of seat belts and more.

It is also possible to reach conclusions about what caused a crash by analyzing damage to the vehicles involved. The location of damage could indicate that one driver was negligent by violating the other driver’s right of way. The amount and extent of damage could indicate how fast another vehicle was traveling. Your lawyer may bring in an accident reconstruction expert to further determine what the crash damage says about what happened.

How do Insurers View Crash Victims Who Have Memory Loss?

Car insurance companies are looking for some reason to deny a claim or diminish its value. They often do this by attacking the victim’s credibility. If the victim does not remember what happened, the insurance company may say there is no case. They may quickly deny the claim or make a lowball offer.

However, you can still seek compensation as there are other ways to validate your claim. You should discuss the situation with a licensed attorney. Some crash victims take the insurance company’s word for it even though they may still be able to obtain compensation.

If you have memory loss, it is probably a bad idea to talk to the insurance company. You may say something that hurts your case without realizing it. The attorneys at our firm know how to protect a claim when talking to insurance companies.

Contact TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Your Crash

Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with a licensed Bloomington-based auto accident attorney. There is no obligation to hire our firm after this meeting, so there is no risk to you. We can explain how we may be able to assist you during this difficult time.

No upfront fees. No risks. Call today to learn more. (612) TSR-TIME

Staying Safe if You Try to Gather Evidence After a Car Crash

questioning accident victimWe have all seen drivers standing by their wrecked cars surveying the damage or exchanging insurance information. Most drivers passing by are careful to avoid the damaged vehicles.

However, it can be dangerous to get out of your car on a busy street or highway. Passing cars may be traveling much too fast to avoid a collision, putting your vehicle at risk of further damage and you at risk of severe or even life-threatening injuries.

It is important to remember your safety is your number one priority after a crash. You may be concerned about gathering evidence for your insurance claim, such as taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle. While this is important, you do not want to put yourself in harm’s way just to get a picture.

Below, learn more about staying safe when trying to collect evidence after a crash, including when it may be best to simply stay in your vehicle.

The Minneapolis-based auto accident lawyers at TSR are prepared to manage every step of the legal process on your behalf, including the investigation of the crash. Schedule an initial consultation today to learn more.

Getting Out of the Path of Traffic

Whenever possible, move your vehicle out of the path of oncoming traffic. If there is a shoulder to the road, move as much of your car into that area as possible. You should also turn on your hazard lights to help alert approaching drivers of your stopped vehicle. Some drivers have an emergency kit with road flares, and these can also be helpful.

You should not count on passing motorists to drive defensively or even to see you. You have probably heard about the epidemic of distracted driving – many drivers are not fully aware of the other cars around them, much less disabled or wrecked cars on the roadside.

Should You Get Out of Your Car?

If your vehicle is out of the path of oncoming traffic, it may be safe to get out and exchange information with the other driver and survey the damage.

However, be careful about getting out of your car if you are on the right side of the road, as if your driver’s side door is nearest to the road. If possible, you may want to slide over and get out the passenger door instead. If you get out the driver’s side door, do not stand on that side of the car, as you could easily get clipped by a passing car whose driver is not paying attention or speeding. You may want to walk around to the other side.

It is important to note if you are in a lot of pain and moving around hurts, it may be best just to stay put until the ambulance arrives. If you get out of the car and move around, you could aggravate your injuries and cause new ones. You may think the pain is minor, but it could be a sign of a severe injury. Adrenaline can sometimes mask pain or make it seem manageable, even though it may get much worse later.

Collecting Evidence

If you do get out of your car and want to take pictures, feel free. It is a good idea to watch the road for any passing cars that may be drifting a little too close. You can also use this opportunity to exchange insurance and contact information with the driver and call 9-1-1 unless the other driver has already done so.

If any other cars stop to help or you see pedestrians who may have witnessed the crash, you may want to ask them what they saw. If you get their permission, you can record the conversation on your smartphone for future reference.  At a minimum, get all witnesses’ names and numbers so they can be contacted later.

What if the Other Driver Gets Angry?

Sometimes at-fault drivers get angry with crash victims, acting as though they caused the situation. At-fault drivers may also be angry at the inconvenience of having to wait for the police to arrive.

If the other driver yells at you or seems aggressive, it may be best to stay in your car and lock the door until the authorities arrive. Avoid making eye contact because it may set the other driver off. It is best not to engage with someone who is acting aggressively.

Aggression could be a sign the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you think drugs or alcohol may be involved, be sure to tell the police your suspicions when they arrive. They can then decide if it may be necessary to do a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test.

What not to Say After a Crash

Even if you think you may be partially to blame for the crash, it is best not to say anything about it to the other driver. The investigation will uncover whether your actions may have played a role in the collision. Crash victims tend to blame themselves, even if they did nothing wrong.

You should also avoid getting angry with the other driver because it could spark a confrontation. If you focus on collecting evidence and getting medical treatment, you will be doing a lot to help preserve your claim. Meeting with a licensed attorney is also important.

Call TSR Today for Help After a Crash

For more than two decades, the licensed attorneys at our firm have been helping car crash victims recover compensation for their damages. We understand how devastating these situations can be and that is why we are dedicated to pursuing maximum compensation. We are also prepared to go to court if necessary.

Meeting with us after a collision is risk-free, as there are no upfront fees for our services. We do not get paid for representing you unless you are compensated.

Learn more by calling today: (612) TSR-TIME