Car accidents can cause extreme pain and suffering for their victims, in addition to a huge financial strain associated with medical bills, missed wages, and repairing property damage. Sometimes, car accidents cause serious injuries that can cause permanent damage. Unfortunately, many car accidents result in traumatic brain injuries that can lead to memory loss or amnesia. If you suffered head injuries in a car accident and are having difficulty remembering information or experiences, or if you are having trouble retaining new information after your car accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. At Tyroler Injury Law, our personal injury attorney helps victims pursue compensation for financial and emotional losses while also protecting our clients’ legal rights every step of the way. Call us at 651-259-1113 to set up your free case evaluation.
What Is Amnesia?
Amnesia, or amnestic syndrome, is the condition of memory loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, amnesia often results in forgetting memories, information, and experiences, but not usually the victim’s entire identity. Amnesia has various possible causes, including:
- Heart attacks or respiratory conditions limiting the supply of oxygen to the brain
- Brain tumors
- Certain sedatives
- Brain trauma
A traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, can lead to short-term memory loss. More severe traumatic accidents can lead to longer-term memory loss. In rare cases amnesia can be caused by emotional trauma, causing the victim to dissociate and forget memories and information about their identity.
The two most common forms of amnesia involve:
- Inability to remember facts and information
- Inability to learn new information or form new memories
Symptoms of Amnesia
The primary symptom of amnesia is forgetfulness, either difficulty remembering past experiences or difficulty forming new memories. However, other possible symptoms are similar to those of a concussion or other brain trauma. For example, these symptoms may include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty speaking or forming thoughts
If you have noticed a change in your ability to process and remember information or concentrate on daily tasks, you should seek medical attention immediately, especially if you have recently been involved in a car accident. A medical professional will likely begin by asking you questions about your memory. This may also require the help of family members who may be familiar with your situation to help identify if you are failing to remember something accurately. Medical professionals may also administer an MRI, CT scan, or a series of cognitive tests to determine if your cognition has been impaired.
Treatment for amnesia generally means waiting for the brain to heal itself. Most amnesia resulting from minor head trauma will resolve itself over time, but unfortunately, severe head trauma may lead to long-lasting amnesia that never fully recovers. While you wait for your injuries to heal, you may experience a loss of wages due to an inability to return to work, as well as pain and suffering.
Amnesia After a Car Accident
Although each accident is unique, victims of car accidents should generally consider following these steps to maximize their likelihood of recovering compensation from the at-fault driver.
Get Medical Attention
After a car accident, it is always important to seek medical attention if you start to notice any changes to your physical or mental condition. Even if you do not believe you need emergency medical treatment, it is usually a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor to check for any latent symptoms you may have missed, as injuries from a car accident can worsen over time if left undetected.
With head trauma, you may begin to notice a sensitivity to light, difficulty concentrating or forming thoughts, fatigue, or other changes in behavior and cognition. If you detect any of these changes, consider seeking medical treatment immediately. Not only is it critical to protect your physical and mental well-being, but visiting a doctor can also create an invaluable record of your injuries, tying them to the accident. This documentation may be critical to proving your damages in a lawsuit if you decide to pursue compensation.
Document Anything You Remember
After a car accident, you should try to keep a record of what happened. In many cases, you may need to call the police to the scene. Under Minnesota Statutes Section 169.09, any crash resulting in injuries, death, or property damage worth $1,000 or more, requires the driver to file a state accident report with the commissioner of public safety within 10 days. In those circumstances, the police should also create a separate report, which you can request a copy of.
Even if you do not call the police, it is a good idea to exchange information with the driver, documenting their name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information. Though the accident may seem unforgettable at the time, memories can quickly fade, especially if you are suffering from amnesia after a car accident. Immediately after the accident, try to jot down or make a voice memo of what happened, such as the weather conditions, the speed you and the other driver(s) were traveling at, whether you were stopped or moving, etc. This documentation will prove useful if you either forget details about the accident or forget the accident happened entirely.
Consider Speaking with a Minnesota Injury Lawyer
At Tyroler Injury Law, we have seen countless types of car accidents and resulting injuries. We understand the burden that victims face when recovering from car accidents, and we fight tirelessly for their right to recover compensation for their expenses and suffering. If you were injured in a car accident, a car accident attorney may be able to help by:
- Investigating the accident
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Filing necessary paperwork to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault part(ies)
- Representing you in court
Generally, in a car accident lawsuit, you must prove that the other driver was negligent. To prove negligence, you must show that:
- The driver owed you a duty. All drivers owe other drivers a duty of reasonable care. This simply means that drivers must act reasonably so as not to endanger others.
- The driver breached their duty. A driver can breach a duty of care by engaging in careless or reckless behavior that puts others at risk, such as by texting while driving, driving under the influence, changing lanes without looking, speeding, or any other dangerous driving behavior.
- The driver’s breach caused the victim’s injury. The victim must be able to show that if the driver had not breached their duty of care, the victim would not have been injured. For example, if your attorney can prove that the at-fault driver rear-ended the victim because they were looking down at their phone, then this causation element may be met.
- The victim suffered damages. You must also be able to prove that the accident led to real damages. You should be sure to keep a record of your medical bills, car repair bills, and documentation of how your injuries have affected your everyday life. If you are suffering from amnesia, for example, you should be sure to keep a log of how your memory loss and other cognitive deficits have harmed your ability to work or carry out your family responsibilities.
If a victim successfully proves that the at-fault driver was negligent, then they may be able to recover expenses for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other losses caused by the accident.
How Tyroler Injury Law Can Help You
Tyroler Injury Law may be able to help you if you are suffering from amnesia after a car accident, other injuries or other losses. We have years of experience handling car accident and negligence cases and seeking compensation for victims. Contact our experienced car accident attorneys at 651-259-1113 to set up a free case evaluation.