When determining fault after a car accident, police will want to hear your side of the story. For many people, that presents a problem: They can't actually remember the accident. They have no idea what happened. They remember things earlier in the day and they remember waking up at the hospital, but the crash itself is lost.
Why does this happen? There are two main reasons, though every crash is unique.
Reason One: Brain Trauma
When the brain experiences serious trauma, memories can be lost. People who suffer brain injuries in car accidents may never remember what happened to them. In other cases, memories may be lost for a time and then return. Fragments could come back, even if they never remember the event perfectly.
It does not take a penetrating brain injury to eliminate memories. A closed injury, like a concussion, can be enough. Anyone who has been knocked unconscious, even if it is just for a split second, could experience these symptoms.
Reason Two: The Freeze Response
Experts also note that trauma itself is not always needed for a loss of memories. People without head injuries often cannot remember what occurred. Researchers call this the "freeze response."
Essentially, this is something that happens during times of serious danger or injury. Your body freezes all non-necessary actions and focuses on survival above all else. Making memories is not essential, so your brain may shut that function down temporarily to put more energy into things that will keep you alive. This is an involuntary response. It happens without your control, and you do not know it is happening at the time.
Car Accident Injuries
If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, be sure you fully understand all of the legal options you have to seek out financial compensation.
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