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Car accidents can lead to amnesia

Head injuries and brain injuries are common in a car accident. For some people who are involved in car accidents, suffering from memory loss is possible. When a people lose their memories, they are said to have amnesia. While memories might come back after the accident, treatment and therapy are sometimes needed.

There are two different types of amnesia -- anterograde and retrograde. Anterograde amnesia occurs when you can't learn new information after the incident that led to the amnesia. Retrograde amnesia occurs when you aren't able to remember events prior to the onset of the amnesia, which could be at the time of the motor vehicle crash.

Interestingly, a person who as amnesia might still be able to learn new skills. Some people might not suffer from any negative effects to their identity, personality, intelligence, or judgement. The memory loss might affect only specific memories.

The majority of cases of amnesia involve short-term memory loss. That means that person will likely remember things that happened long ago, but might not be able to keep up with current facts. An example would be that the person can remember who the president was years ago but might not know who the president is today.

There isn't any single treatment that is appropriate for amnesia. Instead, multiple treatments, methods, and tools are usually used to help the person either recover memories or learn how to function. These can often be costly, so people who have amnesia because of a car accident might decide to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered in the accident.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Amnesia," accessed March 09, 2016

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