When people in the Bay Area think about amnesia, the first idea that comes to mind might harken back to a television show in which someone gets hit over the head. All of the sudden, the person cannot remember anything about their life at all, even their name, at least until they get hit on the head again.
As many can probably guess, amnesia does not work like that in real life. It is, however, a serious symptom of a brain injury, and it can truly affect an otherwise normally functioning person in profound ways.
Basically, someone who is suffering amnesia will usually have trouble with their short-term memory. As such, they will remember who they are, who their parents are and other information that is well-established and in long-term memory.
However, they may not be able to remember an instruction that they were told a few moments ago or what they had for breakfast in the morning, even if they try to do so. Moreover, they will find it hard to learn new tasks.
These sorts of issues can vary depending on how bad one's condition is. Amnesia can range from being more than a minor annoyance all the way to a condition that is truly debilitating in that requires a person to have constant care and supervision.
Sometimes, an illness, a natural condition or an unavoidable injury causes amnesia. However, in many cases, the condition can be traced back to an injury that was not the responsibility of the victim. In these sorts of situations, a victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.