One of the things that a skilled personal injury lawyer will do to help you with your claim is to identify all aspects of the damages that you have sustained after an accident. While some of these damages are easier to quantify, such as vehicle repairs or medical expenses, other types of damages are more subjective, like the pain and suffering you have experienced. A personal injury journal can help you document these injuries and keep track of other important information about your case.
You will want your journal to be as detailed and accurate as possible in order to help prove the extent of your injuries and strengthen your claim to pursue maximum compensation.
What is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is a document that you create that summarizes how the accident has affected you. This journal may be kept on pen and paper, in a diary or electronically. It is important that you provide accurate details about your accident and its impact on you so that this information can be evaluated when determining your damages. Your personal injury journal should also track the extent and progress of your injuries.
What to Write in Your Injury Journal
Your lawyer will discuss the information that you should keep track of in your personal injury journal. Some common requests include:
Detailed Account of the Accident
The first entry in your journal should be a detailed account of your accident. It is easiest to remember this information when it is fresh on your mind, so try to write your account of the accident down on the day of the accident or within a few days of the accident. Be sure to write down:
- Everything you remembered immediately before the accident
- What happened right after the accident
- The time of day
- The type of weather
- Whether there was any road construction
- The names of all persons involved
- What the other driver was doing, such as talking on the phone
- What the other driver said
Medical and Treatment Information
Next, you will want to focus on your medical and treatment information. Bring along your journal when you attend medical appointments so that you can write down instructions your doctor gives you. Keep track of your doctor’s appointments, names and treatment facility. Also, write down all prescription medication information and the miles you traveled to get to your appointments.
Write down the following information concerning medication you take:
- The medication name
- The dosage
- The frequency
- The purpose of the medication
- Any side effects you have experienced
- The degree of relief the medication provided
Levels of Pain and Discomfort
You should also keep track of your pain and discomfort. You might want to make a scale rating with one being the lowest and 10 being the highest amount of pain. Track this pain each day in comparison to other days. Add descriptive words like “dull” or “sharp” to better clarify this element of your pain and suffering.
Time Missed from Work
You can receive compensation for the wages and employment benefits you lost while recovering from your injury. However, you must keep careful records to receive this compensation. Write down the dates when you missed work because you had to see the doctor or were healing.
How Your Injury Has Impacted Your Quality of Life
Also, detail in your personal injury journal how the accident has impacted your life. Be specific and discuss how your daily routine, sleep, family relations or other aspects of your life have changed due to the accident and injury.
The Frequency of Entries
It is typically recommended that you should write in your journal at least once a day. You will also need to make special entries for your recollection of the accident and notes regarding your treatment and symptoms. As time passes and your injuries heal, it may not be necessary to make a daily entry. However, you should not go more than one week without making at least one entry in your journal.
Why Your Journal May Be Seen by Others
It is important that you understand when you are writing information in your injury journal that it may eventually be seen by others. Your lawyer will read your entries to help calculate your damages. If your case is settled with the insurance company, the adjuster may be able to review your journal.
Additionally, if your case goes to trial, your journal may be submitted as evidence. Therefore, it is important that you stick to the facts and keep the information honest so that your credibility is not questioned.
Contact Us to Help Protect Your Claim
If you were injured in an accident and would like assistance in documenting your damages, a Windsor personal injury lawyer at Greg Monforton and Partners is here to help. We can inform you of the information to include and not to include in your journal and how this item can positively impact the value of your case. We are dedicated to helping you secure full compensation for the damages that you have sustained.