After an accident caused by negligence, you may be eligible for compensation to help cover your injury and other related damages. To help prove the extent of your losses and strengthen your claim, one of the most important things you can do is keep a personal injury journal. A journal can help you to document your injuries and the pain and suffering you have experienced on a daily basis.
Below, our Appleton personal injury lawyers discuss the entries you should include, how often to write in your journal, and how it could be used as evidence in court. Request a free consultation today.
What is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is a document where you write down how the accident and your injury have affected you. It could be a notebook, kept on pen and paper, or written electronically on a computer. It is important to remain consistent and provide accurate details about what happened and how it has impacted your life. The information provided in a journal can be used to determine your damages and their value.
What to Document in Your Journal
No detail is too small when it comes to providing documentation to help strengthen a claim. Your journal should include the following entries:
Details of the Accident
Be sure to give a detailed account of the accident. It is easier to remember this information while it is still fresh in your mind, so try to write down what happened as soon after the accident as possible.
Write down things such as what happened right before and after the accident, the time of day it happened, the weather conditions, who was involved and if there was any road construction in the area. Also take note of the things the other party was doing before the accident or saying after the accident.
Medical Care and Treatments
Document your medical and treatment information and how it impacts you so that your doctor is well informed about what is working or not during your recovery process. Keep track of the following:
- What medications you are taking
- The dosage amount and frequency
- How much relief these medications provide
- Any side effects experienced
- How long the relief has lasted
- Any other treatments you have tried
Pain and Discomfort Levels
It is also important to document your pain and discomfort levels. The more severe your injuries are, the greater the impact it may have on your daily life. Journal entries should discuss things like how your injury has limited you from doing certain activities you once enjoyed, how it has affected your sleeping or eating habits, if you are unable to continue doing normal tasks, and if your injury has affected your relationships with loved ones.
Missed Work Due to Injury
If you missed work after the accident because you were healing from your injuries, it is important to write down the dates you missed work. Also keep records of the times you took off from work to go see a doctor for treatments and follow-up visits.
How Often to Make Entries
It is best to make entries in your personal injury journal on a daily basis. As time passes, the entries may be less and less. Anything that is relevant to the accident and your injury should be notated.
Your Journal May Be Discoverable
You should be aware that if your potential case goes to court, your journal will likely be submitted into evidence. This means that the other side and the judge will be able to read everything that is contained within the journal. Should you settle with the insurance company, the adjuster may also review your journal. This is why it is important that you do not exaggerate or downplay anything.
Reach Out to Our Legal Team Today
If you need help with your claim, reach out to our legal team at Sigman Janssen to schedule a free consultation. We are prepared to conduct your free case review and discuss your potential legal options remotely while we provide you with all of the necessary information about what you should document in your personal injury journal for a successful claim for compensation for your injuries.
Give us a call today to get started. (920) 335-1394.