Is memory loss a compensable injury after a car accident?

Question:

Is memory loss a compensable injury after a car accident?

Answer:

If you’ve been in a car accident and are now experiencing memory loss, the first thing you need to do is make sure you get proper medical attention. You can worry about any injury-related insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit later on. Memory loss is not an isolated injury in and of itself, but is typically a symptom of a serious head or brain injury after a car accident.

So, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your primary doctor (or visit an emergency room or urgent care center). Tell your care provider exactly what you’re experiencing in terms of symptoms and problems. Chances are, they’ll run a number of tests that could include X-ray, CT, and MRI.

Obviously, getting proper medical attention is crucial for your health and well-being, but it’s also necessary if you’re going to demand compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver (payment that will usually come through his or her car insurance company). You can’t just say, “I’m having trouble remembering things. Where’s my settlement check?”

Memory loss is the same as any other car accident injury you’re claiming -- it needs to be documented through visits to a health care professional, treatment records, and medical bills. You would include memory loss as a component of your compensable damages when you send a demand letter to the insurance adjuster or attorney for the other driver. Memory loss could factor in both as quantifiable “special damages” (since it required medical treatment) and more subjective “general” damages (since it could result in anxiety and a diminished quality of life).           

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