Should I Keep a Personal Injury Journal After My Accident?
While you focus on recuperating after a serious personal injury, documenting what you are going through daily, is also critical. Find the type of journal that works best for you, whether electronic or pen and paper, but take the time to chronicle as many details as possible about your condition and how it affects your life.
Keeping this journal will also be important evidence in a lawsuit against the negligent parties. While your medical records will provide valuable information about your case, healthcare providers usually spend only a limited amount of time with you once your recovery begins.
If you are physically unable to write in a personal injury journal, ask a friend or relative to take notes. The documentation is what matters.
How we can help
A Pittsburgh personal injury attorney from our firm can help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. A diary is a useful tool when determining a fair amount of compensation. It should include both how you feel physically and emotionally, as well as recording your financial losses due to the injury.
Documenting the injury
Your journal should document every aspect of your medical treatment. That means a record of every doctor or rehabilitation appointment, including comments made by the professionals regarding your condition, and care instructions.
If a doctor recommends performing daily exercises, make sure to document them. If you are supposed to do these exercises three times a day, confirm this in writing.
If there are normal activities, you could not perform or could function only in a limited manner due to pain and lack of mobility, put this information in the journal.
Include pain and suffering
Include your level of pain and suffering. You might score the level of pain and suffering on a 1 to 10 scale.
For example, when you wake up, note how you are feeling. Someone with a leg injury, for example, might feel a pain level of 8 upon getting up and getting out of the bed.
Pain specifics should include not only this information but how long it lasts and its location. Include any pain medication taken, whether prescription or over the counter.
Perhaps when you take prescription medication– your pain level drops 50 percent. However, because of its side effects, you may have other physical or mental limitations—write that down as well.
Finally, keep a record of your emotional state every day, whether depressed, anxious, or angry.
This journal should also track all expenses. This would include medical bills, lost wages, and the amount of overtime missed due to your injury.
Also, do not neglect to keep accurate records of all out-of-pocket expenses. This includes saving receipts for medical equipment, transportation to and from healthcare appointments, the costs of childcare or cleaning services if you are unable to perform these tasks, and anything else relating to your claim.
Do not forget to add any time you lose from work because you had to go to a doctor’s appointment. Get into the habit of writing in the journal immediately after incurring any related expense, so you don’t forget.
Contact us today for a free consultation
If you or someone you know was seriously injured due to the negligent actions of another party, a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney from our firm could help. Submit our online form or call or text 24/7.
After reviewing your case, we will determine if there is a valid personal injury claim. If so, we will let you know your options going forward. There is never a fee unless you receive compensation, as we work on a contingency basis.