Woman Experiencing Memory Loss | Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury LawyerIt isn't uncommon for victims of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to suffer memory issues. Between the trauma of the event and possibility of sustaining damage to a memory center in the brain, you may not recall the accident that caused your injury at all. While that can cause problems when dealing with insurance or filing a lawsuit, an attorney can help you overcome those obstacles while pursuing the compensation you deserve.

Causes of Memory Loss During TBI Accidents

From sports injuries to cargo truck wrecks, there are a number of accident types that may result in lost memory. In some cases, the brain simply goes into survival mode during a violent incident like a car crash and doesn't record the events of the accident as a memory, so there is nothing for you to remember.

Being unable to recall the event in question may be a side effect of the accident itself, whether you struck your head in a vehicle collision or you were harmed in a slip and fall caused by negligence. For instance, if you fall unconscious directly after the initial head trauma, you may experience post-traumatic amnesia when you wake up. This type of memory loss can impact you whether you were unconscious for moments or entire days, but it isn't always permanent.

In some cases, memories of the accident return days or weeks after the fact. Direct physical damage to a portion of the brain handling memory could instead result in irreversible changes, however. These serious injuries may also interfere with your ability to form new memories in the future.

How Memory Loss Affects a Traumatic Brain Injury Case

When memories don't ever return, you could find yourself unable to recall what you were doing before the injury, exactly how you were hurt, and so on. Obviously, you won't be able to describe what occurred to law enforcement arriving at the scene, or to a jury down the line when filing a personal injury lawsuit.

While that does present challenges to recovering damages if your injury was caused by negligence, you aren't completely out of options. That's why it is absolutely critical to contact an attorney sooner than later. When you can't remember the event, an attorney can investigate the accident to determine who is liable for your damages and prepare a legal case on your behalf.

An attorney's job is to nail down the circumstances of exactly what occurred to explain to a jury or insurance adjuster, utilizing methods such as:

  • Accident reconstruction
  • Expert testimony
  • Medical records covering your injury
  • Police report from the accident
  • Video and photographic evidence
  • Witness testimony from bystanders who saw the accident occur

When you can't remember the events, it is doubly important to document every aspect of your injury and establish a strong paper trail to back up your claim. With that evidence you have a better chance of recovering compensation for lost income, medical bills, and potential future costs like physical or occupational therapy.

Traumatic brain injury victims often have to deal with massive changes to their lives, and the inability to recall the accident may only be the start of memory issues. Additional short-term memory loss after the accident can significantly interfere with your recovery. Cognitive and memory problems caused by a TBI may make it difficult to maintain a job, or cause problems with meeting legal deadlines and keeping up with your doctor's orders.

To handle these difficulties, you should hire an attorney and build a reliable support system of friends and family to assist in maintaining paperwork, ensuring you make your medical appointments, and so on.


Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims