Should I Keep a Personal Injury Journal After My Accident?

Documenting the details of your injuries after an accident is highly recommended. Lawsuits and insurance claims rely on facts, and as traumatic as the accident may have been, your recollection of events can start to get fuzzy as time passes. Keeping a personal injury journal is one of the easiest ways you can ensure that every detail is recorded.

This first-hand account describes not only your pain and suffering but how your daily has life has been impacted. A journal can also demonstrate the gravity of your injuries, building a stronger claim for compensation.

Personal injury journal documents your case

This diary should be accurate, comprehensive, candid, and above all, honest. Keep in mind that this journal may be reviewed by your attorney and the defendant’s insurer as part of your case.

It is in your best interest to have an experienced personal injury lawyer from Douglas & London review your situation and explain your legal rights. Our legal team has successfully litigated hundreds of complex injury cases, and have seen how a post-accident journal can increase the strength of a case.

A personal injury journal should be an exhausting account and include everything from your physical symptoms and medical treatments to your limitations at work.

First entry: accident details

Before your memory begins to fade, jot down the details of the accident. Include important factors, such as:

  • The location of the accident
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Conversations with potential witnesses
  • Observations of the other driver’s behavior and mental state
  • Any hazards that may have contributed to the crash: wet surfaces, gravel, sun glare, driver distraction, construction

Medical treatment and pain symptoms

Entries should also document each doctor’s appointment, as well as diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and treatments provided. If you had out-of-pocket co-pays for prescription medications, appointments, or medical equipment, make sure to write this down too.

You also want to keep track of your medications and pain symptoms. Be descriptive. Rather than saying, “my neck really hurts,” you can rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Is the pain more of a “stabbing” sensation, or is it radiating? Is it chronic or more of an occasional flare-up? Are you experiencing any adverse side effects from your medication? Try and make an entry every day that describes how you feel.

Document every healthcare practitioner you see during the course of your recovery. This can be chiropractors, orthopedists, general physicians, massage therapists, or alternative healers. What sort of treatment protocols did they prescribe?

Make notes of your daily limitations

Another important aspect to document is how your injuries have affected your daily life. What routine activities and tasks have been limited since your accident? Are you able to do household chores, grocery shopping, or pick up the kids from school? Can you still participate in your favorite recreational hobbies or pastimes?

It is your job to convey how the accident has affected your daily life in such a way that is easily understood.

Time missed from work and lost income

Have your injuries prevented you from working?  If subsequent to the injury you can no longer perform your regular employment duties, explain why and include the amount of time you have gone without income. Whether you are self-employed, are an independent contractor, or have a salaried position, make note of the earnings and potential business opportunities you have missed during your recovery.

Free consultation with Douglas & London

Try and be consistent with your personal injury journal. Daily entries are extremely helpful when it comes to communicating your pain, suffering, and losses.

Need knowledgeable legal guidance after suffering a personal injury? Schedule a case evaluation with a reputable New York City personal injury lawyer. Reach out to Douglas & London to schedule a no-cost initial consultation. There are no upfront fees, and we only get paid when you do.