Go to navigation Go to content
Phone: 604.255.9018
McComb Witten Marcoux

Your Car Accident Is Etched in Your Memory—At Least for Now

Although the aftermath of some crashes can last for minutes (or even hours, if someone gets trapped in a vehicle), most serious accidents happen in a matter of seconds.

Our psychological relationship to traumatic events can be quite complex. In “real time,” your crash might have only lasted 15 seconds. But odds are you will spend many hours’ worth of “mental energy” dwelling on the crash or puzzling over its aftermath and implications.

Why do we experience and remember adrenaline-stimulating events, like car crashes, more vividly than we do the more “work-a-day” moments of our lives? And what does this phenomenon tell us about how we should manage the post-crash experience?

First of all, neurological research shows that we use different parts of our brains to anticipate events, experience them, and reflect upon them. The processes that we use to think about the past, the present, and the future are vastly different. And that creates issues!

For instance, a witness’s ability to recollect a crime (or a car crash) will degrade, rapidly, over time. Eventually, it degrades so badly that it becomes nearly useless, from a legal point of view.

Curiously, even though your memory of the crash (as a witness or participant) may change, you won't necessarily be aware of the changes. Your memory may seem quite real and accurate the whole time.

So what’s the big takeaway? Here are some lessons:

  • Get good insight into your case from objective sources
  • Collect witness statements today, as opposed to two weeks from now
  • Journal your experience and memories
  • Get medical help for any medical trauma—especially injuries to the head
  • Interview and retain a car accident attorney now, so that he can help with the investigation and protect your rights to obtain compensation and justice

Call McComb Witten now at 604-255-9018 to schedule a free case consultation, and download a copy of our free report, He Slammed into My Car and Took Off, to learn about effective processes for dealing with your accident.