Personal injuries caused by accidents where another person is at fault can be compensated only if you provide supporting evidence. Planning to communicate your pain and suffering verbally? You may want to rethink that decision. This is because none of us can recall every minute detail of an accident that may have happened months ago unless we document each and every discomfort related to our injuries. Even if you have a great memory, it is always wise to keep a personal injury journal to document your pain and suffering in the wake of the accident and how it has affected your life. That’s where a journal plays a key role in strengthening your claim and helps you get a compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and discomfort. However, this may not be possible until you hire an experienced injury lawyer. This post will walk you through what you should know about a pain journal.
What Is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is a first-hand account of the pain and suffering you experienced after an accident. It documents all the nitty-gritty of the incident, ranging from the time it happened through your healing process. It should accurately reflect the pain you endure each day and the problems that resulted from the injury. This journal can be written out or typed. Make sure the information provided is explicit, highlighting the extent of your injury and how it has affected your life. Moreover, do not share the information in your journal with anyone except your attorney. They will tell you what information to include and how frequently you should update it.
What Are the Important Things to Include in a Pain Journal?
Your journal should reflect your pain and suffering in a way that will help you get the compensation you deserve. That’s why, according to injury lawyers, you should include the following information:
Details of Your Accident
It is best to write down all the details of the accident as soon as possible. This is because over time you may forget crucial information, thus weakening your claim. Also, personal injury lawsuits take many months to settle so documenting everything will help you recall it in court. That’s why you should include the following:
- Weather on the day of the accident
- When the incident took place
- The location
- Names of witnesses (if any)
- The reaction of the person at fault
- Contact information for witnesses
- Any hazards present, like potholes on the road, cracks on the pavement or slippery ground
- Name of the law enforcement agency or officer who visited you at the accident site
Level of Pain and Discomfort
Pain and discomfort are not quantifiable but you should record their severity and how it has affected you physically. It should also include descriptions of the pain, where it occurs and its frequency. Your journal should highlight every little detail of the suffering that has disturbed your mental peace.
- Your Medical Information
Your accident will require proper medical attention. From visiting doctors to undergoing medical tests, certain costs may not be covered by OHIP. That’s why to claim medical expenses you should note the following:
- The name and designation of your doctor
- Doctor’s fee
- Cost of medical tests
- Cost of commuting to and from each doctor visit
- Cost of medical treatments
How Your Injury Has Affected Your Life
Apart from inflicting pain, some accidents leave lifelong injuries that leave you unable to work like you used to. If this is your case, note every detail to highlight the effect of the injury on your life. In fact, if you are compelled to take another job, mentioning it in your journal makes it easier for you to claim compensation.
How Long You Have Missed Work
Recovering from the incident may require unpaid days off. Take note of the number missed and wages forfeited.
How Often Should You Update Your Journal?
Note down all the minute details of the incident as soon as you can. Thereafter, record your pain and suffering until you recover.
And that is how you ready your journal with key information to help you win a personal injury claim and get the compensation you deserve. It is evidence against the person at fault and will come in handy at trial or when your lawyer negotiates a settlement. Not sure where to start? Ask your lawyer for guidance.