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what is a personal injury journal?

What is a Personal Injury Journal and Why Should I Use One After a Vehicle Accident?

After you’ve suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you get a lot of advice. Suddenly, everyone and their best friend seems to know the secrets of succeeding in a personal injury claim. However, you only need a few pieces of truly reliable advice to make the most of your claim and protect your right to seek compensation.

Most of it comes down to listening to your attorney and following their advice to the letter. In addition to that, a personal injury journal can be an extremely helpful tool as you prepare for negotiations or for trial. Learn more about personal injury journals, and when you’re ready for more personalized advice regarding your claim, call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815.

What Is a Personal Injury Journal?

A personal injury journal is a journal with important information about your personal injury claim. It contains details about the accident you suffered, how it impacts your life on a daily basis, and how your injuries have limited you. When you hear the word “journal,” try not to think of a private journal some people keep. A personal injury journal could well end up in court as evidence, so you do not want to get into private feelings and emotions unless they directly relate to your injury.

What to Put in Your Personal Injury Journal

Your personal injury journal should be a clear and detailed account of the accident you suffered and how your injuries progress each day or week. You may want to include:

  • A retelling of the accident. Lay out the details of the accident, leaving out your emotions or biases. List the order of events, the sensations you experienced, who you talked to, and what steps were taken after the accident.
  • Tasks you can and cannot do each day. Jot down a list of what you get done each day and what you have to reschedule because of pain or limited mobility. The details of how an injury impacts your life often get lost over time, and this journal will help you remember those moments.
  • Missed days of work or school. Record each time you have to miss work or school for appointments, therapy, or due to pain.
  • Treatments you receive. Keep track of the medical treatments you receive. It’s helpful to list the medical professionals you spoke with, when your appointment was, what updates they gave you, and what your treatment was.
  • Appointments you attend and how much you have to travel for them. Keep track of appointments and the traveling time/distance for each one.
  • Communication you have related to your injuries. When you speak to your attorney, doctor, or employer about your injury, jot it down in your journal.

How to Track Your Pain

Your journal should also serve as documentation of your pain levels. There are several ways you can do this. If your pain tends to fluctuate significantly throughout the day, you may want to write down your pain level on a scale from 1-10 in the morning, in the afternoon, and at bedtime. If it stays consistent throughout the day, just documenting your pain level once daily is sufficient.

How Often to Write

In the early days after your accident, you may want to write daily. This is when the most significant changes occur and when pain may keep you from remembering things. As you go through your claim, your attorney will advise you on how often to write.

The Benefits of a Personal Injury Journal

A personal injury journal can be incredibly advantageous for your personal injury claim, whether it settles or goes to court. People on the outside of your claim do not see what you go through each day and how your injury affects you. When you’re put on the spot and asked about how your injury impacts you, it’s likely you’ll forget important details as you try to answer succinctly. A personal injury journal details the limitations you have because of your injury and the ways in which you have had to accommodate those limitations. This makes it much harder for the insurance company to deny you fair and full compensation.

Turn to Burns, Cunningham & Mackey for Help Today

Whether you’ve been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of incident, the team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey is here to fight for you. Our extensive experience in personal injury law has helped us secure favorable outcomes for thousands of clients. Learn more about your options now by calling us at 251-260-3815 or filling out our contact form.