LOS ANGELES, California. The science of studying how memories work is a relatively new field. One writer, for the New York Times, explains that memory can be selective. Our brains are bombarded with dazzling amounts on information, and our brains need to select which bits of information we want to encode into long-term memory. Emotion can play a role in which events get stored and which events are forgotten.
If you are taking your personal injury case to court and plan to use eyewitness testimony to support your case, it is important to understand the limitations of eyewitness testimony. According to the American Psychological Association, eyewitness accounts can sometimes be unreliable. Witness testimony can complement other evidence you may have, but ideally, to have a strong case, eyewitness testimony should not be the sole source of evidence building your case. Yet, it is also important to consider that eyewitness testimony can be most flawed when witnesses are tasked to identify perpetrators of crimes. When it comes to remembering the events leading up to and following an accident, witnesses may be more reliable.
Still, every time we remember something that happened to us, we are reconstructing the event. Every time we draw up a memory, there is always the possibility that we could change our memory of an event, either through suggestive questioning or if emotions from the present day interfere with our recollection of the event. Memory works narratively, and the mind works to fill in the gaps. It is where these gaps are filled in that memory and reality can deviate. Emotions can also change how we remember an event. Researchers studying school shooting victims found that when they spoke to victims who were no longer emotionally impacted by the shooting, some of the victims remembered that they had been outside the school, when they had, in fact, been inside.
Traumatic memories are also unique. It isn’t unusual for victims of trauma to have gaps in their memories. For example, victims of sexual assault may be able to remember the face of their attacker but may not be able to remember the exact day an attack took place.
Alcohol can also impact witness memory. If the other driver in your car accident was drunk at the time, he or she may not recollect the moments before or after the accident. Individuals who are at fault for accidents and crimes may also remember events differently than they initially believed them to be. Individuals often have a vested interest to think of themselves as acting morally and behaving ethically. A person might even believe that he or she didn’t break the law while driving, when he or she in fact, may have broken the law.
Disentangling self-reports after a car accident can be a complex process. Reconstructing what actually happened can take experts, witnesses, and other evidence, like tire marks, and vehicle damage. If you’ve been in a car accident in Los Angeles, California, consider putting the experts on your side. The Ledger Law Firm is a Los Angeles, California car accident attorney who works with victims and their families to help them get the best possible outcome under the law. Visit us at https://www.ledgerlaw.com/ to learn more about how we may be able to help you seek the justice you may deserve after a crash.
 
 
 

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