Specific types of brain injuries that may result in memory issues for survivors include:

Closed head wounds

A TBI is considered “closed” if the injury doesn’t fracture the skull or result in a direct cut to any brain matter. These wounds are more dangerous than they sound, as the effects may not appear immediately, and you might not even be aware you have a brain injury until days later.

Coup-contrecoup injuries

This specific type of closed head wound takes place when the brain bounces off the skull, causing contusions where the brain impacts with hard material. 

Diffuse axonal injuries

Another closed head wound, diffuse axonal injuries happen when the violent motion of an accident results in shearing and tearing of brain tissue. 

Penetrating head wounds

The opposite of a “closed” wound, this catastrophic “open” injury involves a skull fracture and something physically penetrating brain tissue.

Living With Memory Loss After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Not all traumatic brain injury patients are affected the same way when it comes to memory issues. Some will simply never remember the accident because the victim’s brain never stored the event as images to recall. Others will regain those memories of the event in time but may have ongoing memory problems.

The three main types of memory loss following an accident with a traumatic brain injury include:

Short-term memory loss

Rather than forgetting specific past events, you may have problems forming new memories or recalling something that recently happened. You could need to be told the same information repeatedly or frequently forget something that took place earlier in the day. Victims dealing with short-term memory loss can easily lose track of time, forget appointment dates and times, or be unable to locate objects like keys.

Long-term memory loss

Some TBIs cause an inability to recall events in the past, even if they were significant. This could manifest as a loss of memories before a certain point or difficulty remembering the specifics of events that occurred years ago.

Post-traumatic amnesia

With this type of memory loss, patients are unable to recall the actual incident that caused the brain injury, such as a car crash. Post-traumatic amnesia is typically seen when the accident victim loses consciousness at the scene. In most cases, the longer the loss of consciousness, the longer memories of the event will remain locked away.

That third type of memory loss brings up unique challenges when attempting to recover damages for your injury. If you can’t remember the events of the accident, you still have the legal right to file a personal injury suit against the liable party. There are difficulties to overcome in this sort of case since you won’t be able to testify about what occurred, but an experienced attorney can handle those issues. 

Following a thorough investigation of the cause of your accident, your legal counsel may use scene reconstruction methods, expert witnesses, medical documentation, and other TBI evidence to argue your case in court.

What to Do After a Brain Injury Causes Memory Loss 

Memory issues often bring trouble completing tasks you were familiar with before, which can, unfortunately, cause friction with loved ones and make issues like depression and anxiety even worse. When dealing with a TBI severe enough to impact memory, you will likely also have additional negative symptoms that interfere with your regular routine. Other cognitive issues, physical mobility difficulties, speech problems, and extreme behavioral changes are all possible.

For all of these reasons, you need to contact a knowledgeable brain injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Memory loss and other TBI symptoms may turn your life completely upside down, but a lawyer can help you secure compensation to treat and accommodate the injury.

A qualified brain injury lawyer will fight for the full amount you are owed rather than just agreeing to a quick lowball settlement offered by an insurance company looking to save on costs. Memory issues after a brain injury can drastically reduce your overall quality of life, and your compensation should adequately reflect that. Your damages could potentially cover:

  • All medical bills stemming from the injury and estimated future healthcare costs
  • Income lost while recovering and lost earning potential if memory issues and other symptoms prevent you from working 
  • Pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
  • Out-of-pocket costs when undergoing treatment
  • Rehabilitative therapy costs, such as speech, language, or occupational therapy after the accident
Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims