Can a Car Accident Cause You to Lose Your Memory?
Car accidents can lead to many consequences – both physical and mental. The psychological trauma of these incidents can stay with victims for the rest of their lives, causing crippling disorders like depression and PTSD. But what happens if the victim cannot remember the event itself? What happens when victims suffer memory loss due to their car accidents? The truth is that not being able to remember what happened to you can be just as bad as a haunting memory of a car accident. The confusion and unanswered questions can cause serious emotional distress, and it may also cause issues when you attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit. But can a car accident really cause memory loss? What kinds of issues might you experience if you suffer memory loss? Let’s find out.
Examples of Memory Loss After Car Accidents
Memory loss after car accidents is relatively common. The popular Richard Hammon (best known for his work in Top Gear) recently revealed that he suffered memory loss after he crashed a jet-powered dragster at 320 miles per hour. The crash caused serious head injuries, and he now claims that he is suffering from memory issues as a result. Another recent example involves a TikTok user who talked about her memory loss after a traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident. Head injuries are common consequences of car accidents, and many cases of amnesia are reported by car accident victims each year.
How Does a Head Injury Cause Memory Loss?
But how exactly does a head injury cause memory loss? When you receive a knock to the head during a car accident, the affected area of the brain may be responsible for emotions and memory. This part of the brain is called the limbic system. Within the limbic system is the thalamus region, which is located deep in the middle of the brain. There are also the hippocampal regions within the temporal lobes. As the name suggests, the temporal lobes are responsible for our perception of time. More specifically, they are responsible for encoding memories. If any of these areas are affected by a major head injury, you may suffer issues with memory – including the loss of certain memories.
Amnesia is the loss of certain memories. The good news is that forgetting virtually everything you have ever learned is almost impossible, and amnesia almost always involves the loss of some memories – but not all. The bad news is that these memories may be very important to you. You may lose the memory of meeting the person you love, being raised as a child, or even aspects of your own identity. Even losing relatively unimportant memories can be highly distressing, as our memories make us who we are.
It is also worth mentioning that there are different types of memory. Your short-term memory may be highly functional after a head injury, while your long-term memory may seem foggy and unclear. For example, you might be able to repeat a phone number minutes after hearing it, but you may struggle to remember childhood moments – or even events a few months back.
There are two main forms of amnesia:
- Retrograde Amnesia: Retrograde amnesia is the form of amnesia that most people are familiar with. This form of memory loss means that you lose information that was stored prior to the car crash and head injury.
- Anterograde Amnesia: Anterograde amnesia is slightly less well-known, and patients with this disorder struggle to learn new things. In other words, they cannot form new memories.
How Might Memory Loss Affect My Life Going Forward?
First of all, you should know that amnesia is often accompanied by many other symptoms. This is because if your memory loss is caused by a head injury to a specific area of the brain, that area is probably also responsible for other functions. For example, amnesia victims also tend to struggle to learn new things. They may also be easily distracted, and these distractions may cause them to lose their train of thought.
The good news is that amnesia victims can still live happy, healthy lives. Most patients find that they can remember how to do things they practiced for many hours with no issues. For example, if you become an expert guitar player before your head injury, you should be able to pick up your instrument and play with virtually no issues. You should also find it easy to drive a car, ride a bike, and carry out many usual day-to-day tasks.
Finally, you should know that many important memories return to amnesia victims after some time. It might take weeks, months, or years – but there’s a good chance you’ll regain these priceless moments.
How to Deal With Amnesia
There are several strategies that might be helpful as you approach a post-amnesia life. Most patients find it much easier to remember things when given cues – such as the first letter of someone’s name. You might also regain memories by looking at old photographs, holding objects in your hands, or listening to music. Many different things can trigger old memories, and sometimes it’s best to try different things out until you find an approach that works best.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. We know that car accidents can lead to all kinds of different issues for victims. If you cannot quite remember what happened during your accident, there is no need to give up hope. With our help, you can strive for the compensation you deserve. This settlement could cover your medical bills, including the cost of psychological treatments. It can also cover missed wages, emotional distress, and much more. Internet research only gets you so far, so book your consultation today to get started.