Car accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. Some of those who suffer brain injuries may experience memory loss. While memories may return in time, sometimes memory loss is permanent. This can be incredibly disruptive to the victim’s everyday life.
Friedman, Domiano and Smith discusses memory loss after a car accident in Ohio, including how it occurs, common symptoms, treatment options and how memory issues could affect a claim for compensation.
If you suffered a head or brain injury that caused memory loss, our Cleveland auto accident lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
Millions Recovered. No Upfront Fees. Call 216-621-0070.
What Types of Injuries Could Cause Memory Loss?
Memory loss is often the result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While many of these injuries are mild, others can have severe, long-term consequences, such as memory loss. Even concussions, which are a type of TBI, can range from mild to severe.
Memory loss could also be the result of a fracture to the skull or an intracranial hematoma. If you get struck in the head hard enough, part of your skull could break. This fracture could result in a brain injury and/or pooling of blood inside your skull, also known as an intracranial hematoma. Bleeding can put intense pressure on the brain and cause severe damage.
What Kinds of Car Accidents Could Cause Memory Loss?
Brain injuries and other head injuries that could cause memory loss may occur in many types of auto accidents. For example, if you get rear-ended you could suffer whiplash, a common injury that occurs when your head gets whipped forward and backward. Sometimes this motion is so violent that your brain moves and strikes your skull.
Front-end crashes can also cause brain/head injuries. The impact causes your body to be thrown forward, which could cause you to hit your head on the steering wheel or dashboard. In some front-end accidents, the dashboard may get shoved into your body upon impact.
Side-impact collisions can also cause significant head trauma. The collision could cause your head to hit the window to your left. Your head could also get whipped to the side so hard that your brain moves inside your skull.
The more severe the crash, the more likely it is for victims to suffer severe injuries. For example, high-speed or head-on collisions often result in catastrophic and potentially fatal injuries. Sometimes glass and other debris can strike vehicle occupants in the head, potentially breaking through the skull.
What Are the Symptoms of Memory Loss?
These are some of the symptoms that may indicate your car crash injury caused memory loss:
- Forgetting what happened in the crash
- Long-term memory loss
- Short-term memory loss
- Mental fog
- Struggling to multi-task
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling fatigued or tired more often than normal
- Struggling to find the words when talking
- Sensitivity to sound or light
- Feeling irritable
- Changes in your personality
- Having a hard time organizing your thoughts
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Tinnitus – ringing in your ears
- Changes in your sleep patterns
- Feeling more anxious or nervous than normal
- Feeling sick to your stomach
- Struggling to remember simple instructions
- Not being able to take in new information
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek treatment immediately. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your long-term prognosis is likely to be. You should also contact an experienced lawyer to help you with the legal process.
What Are the Three Types of Memory Loss?
There are three main types of memory loss you could suffer after an Ohio car accident:
If you cannot remember what happened right after your crash, you may have post-traumatic amnesia. Sometimes victims cannot remember anything about the moments right after the crash, other times they may have partial memory loss, or they are confused about some things.
This type of memory loss could happen after any traumatic event.
This type of memory loss is probably the most common to occur after a traumatic event, like a car accident. Victims are unable to form new memories for a certain period following the accident. That means they cannot remember an amount of time that followed their brain injury. Victims often say that it feels like they blacked out.
This occurs when victims cannot remember some things from before the accident. They may forget major events in their lives, important dates, names of people in their lives or other events that happened to them.
It is possible for victims to suffer anterograde and retrograde amnesia at the same time, which is known as transient global amnesia. However, this is rare.
How Can Doctors Treat Memory Loss?
One of the difficulties in treating memory loss is that victims do not want to admit it. They might think doctors and others will not believe they have memory loss. Unlike a broken bone, others cannot directly observe that you have lost memories. Victims may also believe their memories will eventually come back.
Another challenge is that you may not experience memory loss right after the crash. It could take days or weeks for you to start forgetting things. This gap in time between a crash and the onset of memory loss can cause some people to think it is unrelated to their accident.
Seeking immediate treatment for memory loss is vital. It is a sign of a brain injury, and if a brain injury goes untreated it could become life-threatening. For example, you do not want to allow a brain bleed to go untreated.
If you go to the doctor and they do not believe you, seek a second opinion. You can also do this if you think the first doctor is not taking things seriously enough or you disagree with his or her treatment recommendations.
Sometimes memory loss resolves itself over time. There are medications that may help. It is often necessary to go through therapy to help victims recover their memories.
Can I Seek Compensation if I Have Memory Loss?
One of the challenges of seeking compensation if you have memory loss is that you might not be able to explain what happened in the crash. The insurance company is sure to use this against you and claim you did not get injured in the crash but by something else.
Even if you remember the crash, the insurance company may claim other gaps in your memory call your statements about it into question. They may ask why they should believe you when your memory has become unreliable.
However, there are other pieces of evidence besides the victim’s account of the crash. Damage to the vehicles involved in the crash can help explain why the crash occurred. Seeking immediate medical treatment helps to connect your injury to the crash. Witness statements and the police report can also help to validate a claim.
It is true that memory loss can complicate the legal process. However, even without memory loss, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to help you. If you have memory loss, you need an experienced attorney’s help.
At our firm, we have helped many people who were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. We know how to gather detailed evidence about what happened in the crash and calculate the value of victims’ damages.
Call Friedman, Domiano and Smith to Set Up a Free Consultation
Traumatic brain injuries often take a devastating toll on your physical, emotional and psychological health. If the injury is the result of a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you should seek help from an experienced lawyer. You likely need significant compensation, and you cannot rely on the insurance company to pay you what you need.
We represent Ohio crash victims on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees. Our attorneys do not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf. The initial legal consultation is also free of charge.
Need legal assistance? Call today: 216-621-0070.
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