If your memory of the car accident differs from your initial statement, it is important to clarify your statement as soon as possible. Immediately after a collision, shock, pain, confusion and stress might inhibit your ability to recall events and details accurately, especially with a brain injury.
Misremembering details after a crash is not uncommon. You may worry your mistake will impact your case, but that is not always true. However, always be as accurate and honest as you can with the insurance company and your lawyer. A car accident lawyer from our firm can help you adjust your statement and make up for your loss of memory after an accident.
How an Inaccurate Statement Can Affect Your Car Accident Case
The degree to which an inaccurate initial statement affects your case depends on the facts of the case.
It is essential to disclose information as soon as possible, as failure to do so can make it look as though you were intentionally withholding details. Never do this.
Statements to Police
A statement to police made immediately after an accident could include inaccuracies for several reasons. Clarify any inaccuracies as soon as possible.
Statements to Insurance Providers
Insurance providers also ask for statements. However, you are not legally obligated to provide one unless it is your insurer. Be completely honest at all times.
Ideally, you should let a lawyer handle all communications with insurance providers, especially the other driver’s insurance company.
Why Your Memory of the Collision Might Be Inaccurate or Foggy
Two types of memory loss commonly affect trauma victims after an incident. These can occur from psychological stress or a physical brain injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion can also cause amnesia.
Amnesia Can Affect Your Memory of What Happened Before and After an Accident
Anterograde amnesia can eliminate your memories of what happened after the accident. Retrograde amnesia, on the other hand, can remove your memory of events leading up to the crash. As BrainLine explains, both types of amnesia can also cause a general sense of disorientation.
In some cases, amnesia can even create false memories, which could have led you to give a false statement.
Amnesia is a legitimate and serious medical disorder, and police, insurance companies, judges, and juries should treat it as such. A lawyer can help ensure that they do so.
What To Do About Post-Traumatic Amnesia
If you are experiencing memory loss, confusion, or disorientation after an accident, it is vital that you seek medical attention. You may have amnesia or an undiagnosed head injury.
Receiving immediate medical treatment can also provide critical evidence if you realize later that you misspoke in an initial statement. If they believe you may have a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the doctor may perform an exam to determine the severity and scope of the issue.
What You Can Do To Help Your Memory After an Accident
Immediately after an accident, you should visit your healthcare provider. They can determine if your memory loss is tied to a serious brain injury, or if it was due to the stress you experienced because of the crash.
No matter the cause of your memory loss, there are a few things you can do immediately following an accident to help jog your memory before you give a statement. These include:
- Taking photos and videos at the scene of the accident: If your injuries allow, take photos and videos at the scene of the accident. Not only will these items serve as useful evidence to support your case, but they will also prevent you from referencing false memories in your statement. You’ll be able to reference the photos and videos you took at the crash scene to recall details about what happened.
- Speaking with passengers in your car: If you were driving with passengers in your car when the accident happened, you may want to discuss the details of the accident with them. It’s possible that they remember more information than you do, such as whether or not the other driver was speeding or driving recklessly.
- Reading the police report: Whether your accident occurred with another passenger vehicle, a motorcycle, or a commercial vehicle, you should call the police to the accident scene. They can review each driver’s identification cards and gather witness contact information. They’ll also write a summary of the crash, which you can read to before you give a statement. This may prevent you from giving a false statement.
After an accident, you may temporarily lose normal brain function for a period of time. If you suffered a loss of consciousness after the crash, it may be especially difficult to remember details about the accident. We will gather information to help you remember how the accident happened.
What an Attorney Can Do To Support You
If your memory of the car accident differs from your statement, you should consider speaking to an attorney after you have sought medical attention. Your attorney can review the police report along with other witness statements to help determine whether your initial statement is erroneous. And if so, the significance of the error, and how to correct it.
Lawyers are officers of the court, and as such, must always be honest with clients, the opposing insurer and of course all within the court system.
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How Long Do You Have To File a Personal Injury Case?
Per Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, victims have two years from the date of a crash to file a personal injury lawsuit.
You have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the sooner you can begin building your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a car crash in Ohio, The Fitch Law Firm LLC can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team works on a contingency-fee basis, which means you will not pay a cent for our time unless you win. Don’t delay! Call us today for a free consultation.
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