If you have been injured in an accident, whether from a slip and fall, car accident or dog bite, keeping a personal injury journal may help prove the value of your claim. Below, our firm discusses the importance of having a personal injury journal and what you should include in it to build a strong case.
If you have been involved in an accident, our Cincinnati personal injury lawyers can guide you through the stages of the legal process. We can review your case during a free consultation and determine what actions are best for your situation.
What Is A Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is a first-hand account of your accident and how it has affected your life. This journal should be detailed and provide important information about your accident. It is possible that the journal may be used as evidence in your case to increase the value, so you should be sure the information is accurate and complete. Your personal injury lawyer will explain how often you should add entries to your journal and what type of information you should track in it.
What Should I Write In The Journal?
Keeping a personal injury journal is an effective way to track certain information and keep a detailed account of factors that affect your claim. Your personal injury lawyer may recommend that you make daily entries in your journal about topics such as:
Details About The Accident
It is important that you record your account of the accident as soon as possible because your memory of the accident may fade with time. Recording your memory quickly can help you keep the events fresh in your mind. Include an entry that details the following information:
- What happened immediately before, during and after the accident
- The weather conditions at the time of the accident
- The day, date and time of the accident
- Contact information for witnesses
- Contact information for the officer who responded to the accident
- Any actions you observed the at-fault party making at the time of the accident and any statements you heard him or her say
Pain You Experience
One of the most important things to document in your journal is your pain and discomfort. Include the following details:
- The pain you are experiencing
- The part of your body affected
- The severity of the pain
- How the injuries affect you
It is important to be honest about the pain and avoid exaggerating or minimizing it. Try to use a 1-10 pain scale to help you differentiate between the pain you experience on different days.
Time Missed From Work
If your injury has caused you to miss time from work, track this information in your pain journal. Write down the dates that you missed and the cause of missing work, such as healing from an injury, not having transportation or having a medical appointment. Also, keep track of the wages you lost and whether you had to use any benefits to compensate you for your time off work.
It can be difficult to keep up with all of the medical appointments that you schedule after an accident. You might have appointments with a variety of health care professionals related to your accident, including:
- An emergency room or trauma doctor
- A surgeon
- A primary care physician
- A chiropractor
- A rehabilitation therapist
- A mental counselor
You should also write down the number of miles you travel to various medical appointments.
Medication And Treatment
During the course of your treatment, you may be prescribed medication and other treatment recommendations. Keep track of the name, dosage, frequency and method of taking the medication in your journal. Also, keep receipts for any purchases of prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs.
How It Has Affected Your Life
Jot down how the accident has affected your life, such as limiting your activities, preventing you from being able to participate in a favorite hobby or getting in the way of your relationship with others.
Contact A Qualified Attorney For Help
If you would like to find out more about a personal injury journal or have questions about the legal process, the dedicated personal injury team at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy is here to help. We have extensive experience in personal injury cases and in-depth knowledge of the evidence necessary to substantiate claims. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, so you will not be charged unless we win compensation on your behalf.