The concept of keeping a personal injury diary may seem strange, especially if you’ve just gotten into a car accident and are focusing on your recovery.
However, keeping a “pain and suffering” journal is one of the best ways to ensure that you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve.
So if you’ve gotten into an accident, one of the first things you should remember is to contact an injury lawyer and keep a car accident diary to protect your claim. It may just spell the difference for your claim, as remembering important details can be difficult, especially after emotional or physical trauma.
So how do you write a car accident journal? Keep reading for some practical tips.
What is a Personal Injury Diary?
A personal injury diary is very similar to your ordinary diary or journal, with the only difference that it contains crucial details about your accident. Some of the things you can include in your entries are:
- A detailed recollection of the day of the accident
- Important details such as the time, date, and place of the accident
- Weather disturbances and other conditions during the accident
- The names of eyewitnesses, if any, and their contact information
- Your medical records
- All police reports related to your accident
- Doctor’s updates concerning your treatment plan or pain status
- Detailed summaries of conversations with your doctors, your insurance company, and other providers
- A calendar of your medical appointments
- Diarize how your physical and psychological impairments affect your personal relationships and ability to engage in recreational activities
- Daily updates describing how the injury is affecting your life – impairments and physical limitations as well as impact on emotional and psychological state
Keeping a detailed personal injury journal can be quite a bit of work and can be emotionally taxing. However, it is crucial to record all details to diarize the sequalae and recovery track.
The journal will also be very helpful to your personal injury lawyer. With a detailed record of everything related to your accident and injury, your lawyer can get a comprehensive picture of the accident. This journal will help your lawyer negotiate better and ensure that your medical expenses and other needs are paid.
In your journal, you should also include other non-tangible things like the emotions you felt during the accident and in recovery. Document your pain levels as well, and try to rate your pain daily based on a scale of one to ten. Indicate how you are feeling, where you are writing your journal entry from, and what activities you are doing (or cannot do) related to your recovery.
Take note that it is important to chronicle your mental state here as well, so don’t shy away from negative emotions. Write them down and be transparent about the anxieties and fears you may be experiencing because of your condition.
Take careful note of things that were discussed during appointments with other people as well, such as:
- Insurance agents
- Doctors and health professionals
- Legal counsel
- Therapists and counselors
- Police officers and other authority figures
- Colleagues, employers and employees who can attest to changes in your work capacity
Your journal may be kept in a notebook, or on a device such as your phone, tablet, or computer. Choose a method that’s most convenient for you so you can ensure you update it daily.
Recommendations for Your Pain and Suffering Journal Writing
If you don’t consider yourself good with words, don’t worry. Your entries don’t have to be grammatically perfect or error-free at all. They only need to be detailed and truthful. If you can, try to update your journal on a daily basis. If that’s overwhelming, try to journal weekly.
Keeping your journal updated can be tedious, especially if you’ve been seriously injured. If you’re in too much pain to write, you can enlist the help of a friend or a family member to write down your journal notes as you dictate them.
Here are some helpful tips for writing in your pain journal:
Write With No Filter
Don’t worry about sharing ‘too much information’ or ‘oversharing.’ In this context, it’s perfectly okay. Write down what you’re feeling both physically and emotionally with no filter.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you filter through your journal later on and help you decide what to share in your case or claim, so focus on writing down with as much detail as you can.
In addition to being helpful for litigation purposes, your journal can also be a very therapeutic tool in copying with all the changes in your life stemming from an accident. Personal injury victims can often feel isolated and misunderstood as most of the people in their support system might find it challenging to relate to the difficulties you’re facing.
Whether you keep an electronic journal or one on paper, you can include photos and videos of your injuries and medications to provide a better context of what you’re writing.
Include details about your receipts and medical bills as well. While they will be submitted separately, you can include photos or note the amounts down for your records.
Include Information About Work
Write down information about workdays you’re missing, as well as the wages you’re not earning because of the injury. You can also include information about the daily activities that you have difficulty with because of your injuries.
Ask Your Lawyer
When in doubt about what to write or where to start, ask your personal injury lawyer. Lawyers in this field have extensive experience with pain and suffering documentation, so your lawyer can give you pointers for your journal if you’re unsure about what to say.
A Personal Injury Journal Will Help You to Receive Better Compensation
Even if it’s added work while you recover, keep in mind that your personal injury journal will benefit your claim in the long run. With it, you can build a case that’s both strong and convincing so that you can get full compensation.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you document the impact of your injuries on your daily life, so be honest with them about your struggles. Upon building a successful case, you can recover and claim benefits for the following:
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Treatment and rehabilitation costs
- Medical bills
Share Your Journal with the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Keep in mind that to have the best chances of succeeding in your case or claim, you should first retain an experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyer by your side. With the right counsel, you can rest assured that your medical bills and expenses will be compensated for.
If you or a loved one are in this situation, our personal injury lawyers at AvaGio Law are highly experienced and ready to help you build a strong case. Get in touch with us for a consultation and have the best personal injury lawyers by your side as you focus on your recovery.