Georgia Catastrophic Injury Lawyers Rely on Corroboration of Details to Bolster Eyewitness Accounts of a Traumatic Event
The brain is a mysterious system. Despite the significant advances in psychology and medicine, much remains unknown about how our brains process and store memories. Scientists have produced substantial research in the last few years that help explain the processes our brains go through to recall a specific event.
Doctors and researchers have also examined how our minds remember and recall accurately or inaccurately in the appropriate case. Scientists have not reached a definite conclusion as to how the mind stores memories but scientists have learned that a person’s memory when witnessing a traumatic even is prone to incorrect recall, especially concerning the vital details. Most people (who participated in the study anyway) added featuresto their memories or exaggerated the significance of other important points.
The Georgia catastrophic injury lawyers with Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, in the appropriate cases, attempt to lock in witness’ memories and hold them accountable for their statements. As memories fade or the person recalling the event supplies details that he or she did not observe, the witness becomes less helpful for the plaintiff while simultaneously becoming more helpful for the insurance company. The more unbelievable or exaggerated a victim’s or witness’s story becomes, the less believable it will be. We do not want witnesses that are not credible.
Instead of relying solely on eyewitness statements as the best evidence of the circumstances surrounding the incident in question, we look for evidence that corroborates what our clients and the witnesses say. A judge, jury, or even an insurance adjuster is more prone to believing someone when our attorneys produce evidence that cannot be impeached with claims of bias, prejudice, faulty memory, or bad character. A victim’s or witness’s story is harder to contradict when corroborated by incontrovertible evidence.
The importance of hiding in corroborating evidence becomes exceedingly more importantas scientific research demonstrates that recollections might not be accurate, especially when people are asked to recall a traumatic incident. Put simply; research shows that people “remember more” than what they actually experienced or could perceive.
Two reasons for people believe they remember more than they experienced emerge in scientific research. Those two explanations are based on “re-experiencing” the event when intentionally remembering the eventand unintentionally recalling the traumatic incident. Researchers found that when intentionally recalling an event such as making a statement to police, giving a deposition, talking to a doctor, or talking with a therapist can insert information into the memory that over time becomes ingrained in the recollection even though the fact is not part of the event.
Additionally, information can contaminate a memory when unintentionally recalling a memory. This phenomenon is described as “intrusive mental imagery.” People experience intrusive mental imagery when they close their eyes and replay the scene from their memory repeatedly. The person reliving the event unintentionally can accidentally introduce new details into the recollection.
Scientists describe this phenomenon as “memory amplification.” These added facts become part of our memories because we do not “label” the “origins” of our memories. Once the fact is in there, we recall it as if it has always been there.
Understanding that people’s memories are suspect to adding details explain why finding corroboration for our client’s statements is so important. The insurance company’s lawyers will have a more difficult time successfully arguing that the plaintiff’s version of events be exaggerated. Conversely, a truthful and sympathetic plaintiff can recover more substantial sums in settlements and judgments.
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If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 35 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
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