Does Memory Loss After a Crash Bar Me From Filing a Claim?

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on November 19, 2021 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 24, 2024

woman with memory loss after a crashThe trauma of being in a crash can cause memory loss for some people. Once the shock wears off, many victims begin to recall more details about what happened. However, what if memory loss after a crash continues for days, weeks, or even months? Can the injured victim still file a claim for damages if he or she cannot remember what happened?

If you are experiencing memory loss after a crash, it may benefit you to seek legal help. At PKSD, our experienced attorneys know how to gather evidence and build a claim, even if a victim cannot remember what happened. Find out how we may be able to help in the free case review we offer.

Trusted Lawyers. Proven Results. 414-333-3333

Why Crash Victims May Suffer Memory Loss

Memory loss may simply be the result of “fight or flight” kicking into gear. However, when crash victims cannot remember things, they may worry if the memory loss is permanent.

Having memory loss after a crash could also be the result of a head injury. The impact of a collision can easily cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). There really is no way of knowing why you are having memory loss without seeking proper medical care and getting a diagnosis.

Types of Memory Loss Common After a Crash

All memory loss, or amnesia, is not the same. There are different types of memory loss after a crash, including:

  • Post-traumatic amnesia: Immediately after a collision, victims may feel dazed, sound confused, and be unable to recall what day it is or even their own name.
  • Anterograde amnesia: This most common form of amnesia seen in car crash victims is typically caused by a trauma or blow to the head. Victims with anterograde amnesia may be unable to form new memories at first. However, in some cases, this form of memory loss could continue a while longer after the initial accident.
  • Retrograde amnesia: If a crash victim cannot recall memories from before the crash, he or she may have retrograde amnesia.

Filing a Claim if You Have Memory Loss

Victims who have memory loss after a crash are not barred from filing a claim. It can, however, make the legal process more complicated.

Despite having memory loss, there are forms of evidence that can help an attorney establish what happened, including:

  • Police report: Although this document is not permissible in court, the information it contains is still useful to a claim. Details may include vehicle damage, events leading up to the crash, who was at fault, and driver and witness statements.
  • Video footage: Any footage from nearby traffic or dash cams, if it captured the collision, may also help provide evidence of the other party’s negligence.
  • Photos: Images you or others took of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and crash debris can be useful as well.
  • Witness statements: Credible witnesses are considered neutral third-party observers. As such, their statements often carry more weight with the insurance company.
  • Accident reconstruction specialist: These specially trained experts examine crash scene evidence and other documentation to recreate what happened. This technique is based on science and can often help clarify events leading up to a crash.

This evidence, along with a full investigation, can help a qualified attorney to build a strong case on your behalf.

Medical Treatment May Help

Although it can help your claim to remember key details about the accident, taking care of your health should come first. Whether you are having memory loss or not, seeking medical care immediately after a crash is a good idea. In addition to protecting your health, your medical records will help to link your injuries to the accident.

If your memory loss after the crash is due to a TBI, getting immediate treatment is often your best chance for a full recovery. It could even be life-saving. With a TBI or other head injury, medical care and time may also resolve your memory loss.

Treatment for TBIs may include:

  • Surgery, if needed, to treat any intracranial bleeding or brain swelling
  • Rehabilitation, which may include physical, speech and occupational therapy
  • Rest – this is a critical part of a TBI patient’s care to aid in an optimal recovery
  • Counseling and emotional support may often be needed to deal with the trauma and recovery stages
  • Gradual return to normal activities – it is important to continue to follow your doctor’s recommendations at this stage. Doing too much too soon can be as bad as doing nothing at all.

Call Our Firm for Experienced Legal Help You Can Trust

At PKSD, our firm is deeply committed to helping the injured. Our experienced car crash lawyers in Milwaukee have extensive experience, as well as the staff and resources to fully investigate your collision.

Most car crash claims are not straightforward. This is just one of the reasons that hiring a qualified attorney can help. We are prepared to handle your claim every step of the way. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us to get started or while we work on your case. For victims, this means no risk. We only get paid if we win your case.

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