How Keeping an Injury Journal Can Help Your Claim
Posted on behalf of Gordon & Partners on May 30, 2018 in Personal Injury
If you have been injured in an accident, you will likely experience a period of recovery where your injury heals. Many injury victims keep a journal during this time to document their recovery and how their injury has affected their life.
An injury journal can provide several benefits if you have filed a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Not only does it provide a first-hand account of your pain and suffering, it can also help prove the severity of your injury to the at-fault party’s insurer.
Gordon & Partners’s West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys have helped numerous victims of negligence obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. We understand how to build a case that proves your claim and will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss pursuing compensation after your accident.
What Is an Injury Journal?
An injury journal is a first-hand account that documents the difficulties you experience after suffering an injury in an accident. It should accurately reflect the pain and suffering you endure each day and the problems that arise in your life resulting from the injury.
An injury journal can be hand-written or typed, if your injury prevents you from writing. However, it must provide explicit information about how your injury has affected your life since the accident.
Furthermore, the content of your injury journal should be private and not shared with anyone except your attorney. He or she will help you determine what information to include and how frequently he or she should be updated with the content of your journal.
What Should My Injury Journal Include?
There are many areas you should cover in your personal injury journal that may help with your case. When you first start your journal, you should make daily entries about your injury. However, as time goes on, you may be able to limit the frequency of your entries to once per week.
The contents of your injury journal should include:
Details About Your Accident
The details of an accident can become fuzzy over time, so it is best to write them all down as soon as possible following the event. Additionally, personal injury claims or lawsuits can take several months to settle, so quickly recording the details of the accident can help keep the events fresh in your mind.
The details you include about your accident should mention:
- The condition of the weather
- The time of day the accident occurred
- The location where the accident occurred
- Any witnesses that may have seen your accident
- The at-fault party’s actions during the accident
- Witness contact information
- Any hazards that may have been present, including road conditions, wet or slick surfaces, or cracks in the sidewalk or pavement
- The names of the responding law enforcement officers/agencies that arrived at your accident
Pain and Discomfort You Experience
After your accident, you should note the pain and discomfort you suffer each day. This should include a description of the type of pain you feel, the area of your body where the pain occurs, and the level and frequency of the pain you experience.
This part of your journal should include an honest account of the pain you are experiencing. It should include an accurate description of how the pain has affected your life and whether you have experienced debilitations because of your injury.
How Your Life is Affected
Note in your journal what responsibilities or tasks your injury is currently preventing you from completing. This should include how your injury has affected your ability to perform simple tasks and perform physical activities or enjoy recreational hobbies.
Additionally, your journal should describe whether your injury has prevented you from working. This can include any limitations you have experienced in performing the regular duties of your job or if you were forced to find a new occupation because of your injury.
Time You Miss from Work
Your injury journal should also include the amount of time you may have missed from work while recovering after the accident.
If your injury forced you to take time off from work to recover, note the amount of time and loss of income you have suffered. This can be determined by listing your hourly wage rate and the number of hours you worked in an average work week.
Appointments and Travel Related to Your Injury
After your accident, you may need to attend several medical appointments to diagnose and treat any injuries or medical conditions you suffer. The cost of traveling to and from doctors’ appointments can become expensive and may place a burden on you or your loved ones.
To receive fair compensation for your travel expenses, carefully document each appointment you attend and the distance it takes to travel there. You may also include your vehicle’s mileage and the cost of gas to gain an accurate understanding of your travel expenses.
The Type of Medical Treatment You Receive
Compensation for medical treatment is one of the most common reasons victims file a personal injury claim after an accident.
Carefully document the type of medical treatment you received in your injury journal. This can include details about your initial doctor’s appointment to determine the injuries you suffered and the type of treatment your doctor prescribed to heal your injury or condition.
You should also include how you have responded to your doctor’s treatment method. This can include the consistency in which you participate in the treatment plan and the rate at which your injury is healing.
Additionally, you should mention any co-pay, prescription medications and medical equipment you have needed to purchase to recover from your injury.
Contact Gordon & Partners to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in an accident, it is important that you act quickly to secure your claim. This includes proactively seeking medical treatment and documenting everything that occurs after the accident.
At Gordon & Partners, our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience and have helped numerous victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim. Do not hesitate to schedule a free legal consultation to find out if you have a case.