If you were injured in a vehicle crash, a slip and fall on someone else’s property, a workplace incident that was perhaps the fault of a third party, or you suffered any other type of injury that was caused by another party’s negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney can handle all of the complex legal tasks with your claim and fight for maximum compensation. There are some steps that you can take to make your case stronger, however, and keeping a personal injury journal is one of them.
A personal injury journal is similar to any other type of journal or diary you might keep in order to record the important events of your life. The main difference is that this journal is focused on documenting the details of your accident, as well as your account of your recovery process.
One other thing to keep in mind about a personal injury journal is that, unlike other journals you might have kept throughout your life, this one might not stay private. Because your journal will contain details about your recollection of the events around your accident and recovery, it could be used by either side if your case ever goes to trial. This should not stop you from giving an honest account of the events as you see them, just remember this journal is not necessarily “for your eyes only.”
What Should be Included in a Personal Injury Journal?
There are several important things that could be recorded in your personal injury journal:
- Details of the Event: One of the first entries that should be made in the journal should be a list of all the facts about the event as you recall them. Some details that should be recorded include the weather and other conditions, any hazards that you remember being present, the date, time, and location of the event, how it occurred, the name, contact information, and insurance information for the responsible party, the names and contact information of any witnesses, and the agency and name of any responding law enforcement personnel.
- Medical Appointments and Care Received: You should receive medical attention immediately after an injury and follow all of your doctor’s recommendations from there. Record in your journal the date and time of each medical appointment and the important things that happened during the visit. Also keep a record of all the procedures, prescriptions, and other types of treatment you have received.
- Time Missed from Work: If the injury is keeping you out of work, record all of the days that you have missed and the earnings you have lost.
- Pain and Discomfort that You are Experiencing: During an injury recovery process, there is a natural ebb and flow from day to day. One day, you seem to be feeling better, then the next day, the severe pain returns. Note each day how you are feeling, what types of pain and discomfort you are having, and the frequency, location, and severity of the pain.
- The Emotional Impact of Your Injury: How is the injury affecting your emotional outlook? Are you concerned about your future? Are you concerned about when you will be out of pain and back to normal? Do you have financial concerns because you are no longer able to work?
- How the Injury has Affected your Quality of Life: Take note of the ways your injury is impacting your ability to live your life to the fullest. Are there some activities you have always enjoyed that you are no longer able to participate in? Do you have to depend on others to do things that you were once able to do yourself?
How Will a Personal Injury Journal Help My Case?
Keeping a personal injury journal can be very helpful for your injury claim, because it is your own first-hand account of everything that happened. Memories tend to fade over time, and people have a tendency to suppress memories of negative events, like extreme pain and suffering.
Keeping a journal allows you to document your daily struggles as you seek to recover from your injuries. This allows you to better contextualize the intangible losses you have suffered, such as the physical pain, anxiety, and emotional distress you have experienced. Your journal also gives you an opportunity to keep detailed records of your medical progress, which will be very important in showing the extent of your injuries, the treatments you have received, your recovery process, etc.
Suffered a Personal Injury in West Virginia? Contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for Assistance
If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury that was caused by someone else, it is very important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can provide additional details on what should be included in a personal injury journal, and they will guide you through all other aspects of your personal injury claim as well.
If your injury occurred in West Virginia, contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for legal help. Call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment. We look forward to serving you!