A motor vehicle accident can have long-lasting effects on you. You may suffer injuries that change the way you live your life and alter your ability to perform the most routine tasks. One of those types of injuries is a brain injury. Depending on the location and severity of the damage to your brain, you may struggle with cognitive functions that most people take for granted.
One common consequence of a traumatic brain injury is memory impairment. Understanding the various kinds of memories in a healthy brain may help you recognize the loss you are experiencing and to seek help in learning how to cope with these frustrating deficits.
How memory works
The complex process of memory actually involves several different stages, some of which are automatic functions of a healthy brain. These memory functions work together to help you do both simple and complex things. The four types of memory include the following:
- Procedural, or muscle memory: Your brain remembers how to do certain procedures that you no longer have to think about, such as tying your shoes, driving a car, playing a musical instrument or having a conversation.
- Sensory memory: Your brain quickly registers things you perceive with your senses, such as color and temperature, and processes them in a fraction of a second based on previous experiences.
- Short-term memory: Your brain stores certain information for a short time and either discards it or transfers it to your long-term memory.
- Long-term memory: Your brain stores critical information from your history, your education and your relationships, and you may recall those memories decades later.
Damage to your brain can disrupt any of these memory processes, leaving you with a serious deficit that may affect your ability to work, communicate or participate in relationships. This can be a devastating consequence of an accident and one that can bring suffering to your entire South Dakota family.
While you may notice some improvement over time, in most cases, a brain injury and its repercussions are permanent. Medical science has not advanced enough to know how to repair the brain. This may seem unfair to you if your injuries resulted because someone else did not take your safety into consideration before driving recklessly. However, you can take steps to potentially obtain monetary compensation for your injuries, which may allow you to seek treatment to help you cope with your brain injury.