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