If you’ve suffered from traumatic brain injury or memory loss following a car accident, you may be entitled to receive damages for your injuries or pain and suffering. However, according to Heather Brown, writing for CBS Minnesota, memory loss can occur in car accident victims even where there are no medically known or organically-caused brain injuries.
Why does this kind of memory loss occur?
Memory loss that isn’t the result of organic brain damage can occur as the brain’s reaction to a traumatic event. Every person’s reaction to trauma is unique. Some people remember every detail with crystal clarity that invades dreams and nightmares. For others, nothing is recalled.
Researchers have found that individuals who find themselves in life or death situations—like car accidents—may focus all their attention resources on fighting for their lives; their brains simply don’t have the processing bandwidth to encode proper memories of the event.
For many, the body’s natural response to trauma can be protective. It can protect personal injury victims from re-living potentially psychologically damaging memories and it can ensure that brain’s resources are put where they are most needed in a life or death situation. Yet, for victims, the brain’s very protective mechanisms can make recounting the events of a car accident in trial very difficult. Victims who don’t remember the events leading up to a car accident or following the accident often use eyewitness testimony or other evidence to support their personal injury case either inside or outside of court.
Yet, how reliable is eyewitness testimony? According to research published in the Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, experiments were performed in which an interviewer’s word choice was found to have an effect on a person’s recall of an event. For instance, when an interviewer used the words “crashed,” “smashed,” and “hit,” eyewitnesses would often produce higher speed estimates of the cars than those who were asked similar questions without the more exaggerated language. Eyewitnesses who were asked if they had seen broken glass were more likely to remember broken glass even though the video of the accident showed no broken glass present.
Memory is a delicate and organic construct. Our brains re-construct events from our past using prior memories, expectations, and social cues. For personal injury victims, eyewitness testimony can have a huge impact on a case. Finding a skilled personal injury lawyer to review the details of your case and properly interview eyewitnesses is essential to building a successful personal injury case.
If you’ve been injured in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you need a personal injury lawyer who understands the importance of eyewitness testimony. Yet, eyewitness testimony is only one piece of evidence in any personal injury trial or case. When you need an aggressive, responsible, and hard-working personal injury firm on your side, you need the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino. The firm fights aggressively for victims and their families to ensure that justice is served.