Why Keeping a Journal is Essential in a Personal Injury Claim
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on May 31, 2019 in Personal Injury
After an accident, a personal injury journal can become a key piece of evidence that helps your attorney pursue maximum compensation for your medical bills and lost wages, but most importantly your pain and suffering. Your journal should include the right types of information, and not information that could be used against you by the insurance company.
Learn the specifics about keeping a journal and what it should contain. For help with your personal injury claim, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our Phoenix personal injury attorneys now.
What is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is a log kept by you recording all the ways your injury has impacted your life. All information regarding your experiences is kept in one place for your attorney. Keep your personal injury journal in a notebook or on a calendar.
The goal of a personal injury journal is to help your attorney and other fact finders understand the experiences you have had due to your injury. This information helps assign a value to the pain and suffering you have experienced, which is more difficult to quantify than provable damages, such as medical bills.
What to Include in Your Journal
It is important that your personal injury journal contain the right types of helpful information. Record detailed entries that describe how you feel, doctors’ visits, and more. The details are very important in establishing a specific compensation demand for your injuries.
The types of information to include in your journal includes:
Details of the Accident
As soon as possible after your accident, write down the details as you remember it. Personal injury cases often take many months or more to resolve – writing down the details as they are still fresh in your mind helps you accurately record them.
In your journal, note the following information about your accident:
- The time of day
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- People involved
- People at the scene
- Actions of the other driver
Be sure to also not include any admissions of fault or guilt in your entries regarding the accident.
Level of Pain and Discomfort
Talk about the pain you have, the part(s) of the body affected and your level of pain each day. It is helpful to note how your pain changes throughout the day, the effects of medication you have taken, activities you are unable to do due to pain, and how your pain is affected by various daily activities.
Be honest in your entries but be careful not to exaggerate your pain levels.
Your Medical Information
Recovery often involves many medical appointments – use your personal injury journal to keep track of the details.
List your doctors’ appointments with the following information:
- The type of doctor you saw
- Mileage to and from each visit
- The doctor’s treatment recommendations
- How you are following the treatment recommendations
- Prescription costs
- Cost of required medical equipment
How Your Injury Has Affected Your Life
If there are daily activities you can no longer do due to your injuries or are now difficult to do, discuss these in your journal. This includes:
- Household chores
- Work activities
- Family life
Discuss the specific difficulties you experience and the limitations you now suffer.
How Often Should You Write in Your Journal?
Immediately following your accident, journal entries should be made each day. As time goes on and you progress in healing, it may not be necessary to make an entry each day. However, do not go more than seven days without making an entry in your personal injury journal.
Why Your Journal May Not Stay Private
If your case goes to trial, it is possible that your journal will be used as evidence. This makes it even more critical that the right type of information is recorded and certain information is left out.
Your journal may be considered privileged information if your attorney advised you to keep the journal for him or her. Beginning a personal injury journal prior to hiring an attorney typically means you cannot claim the journal as privileged information.
Contact an Experienced Attorney for Assistance
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our skilled legal team can evaluate your case and inform you of the legal options available to recover maximum compensation.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today. We charge no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation on your behalf.