If you were injured in an accident, your personal injury lawyer will work to collect evidence in your case. He or she will request accident reports and medical records. However, not all evidence is objective. Accident victims may have subjective damages for which they may be entitled to compensation, including pain and suffering. You are likely the best person to evaluate these subjective claims.
The experienced Harrisburg personal injury lawyers at Schmidt Kramer have helped many accident victims with their claims. We know how to build a case that highlights how the accident has impacted your life and will fight for full recovery. Below, read on to learn about the important evidence that an injury journal can provide.
What Is an Injury Journal?
An injury journal is a first-hand account that documents how your life was impacted due to the accident. Many accident victims will experience a recovery period while their injury heals. It should discuss your pain and suffering and the issues that arise in your life because of your injury.
Injury journals may be handwritten or typed. What is most important is the detailed information you provide in the journal. The contents of your journal should remain private and not be shared with anyone. Only your attorney should have access to your injury journal. He or she can help you determine what information to include and how frequently you should be making a journal entry.
What to Include in Your Injury Journal
There are many things that you may discuss in your injury journal that can help with your case. At a minimum, your journal should include the following:
Detailed Description of the Accident
You should write down a thorough description of the accident that discusses the following details:
- The location of the accident
- The time of day of the accident
- The weather
- Any environmental conditions that may have impacted the accident
- The actions you took
- The actions the negligent party took
- Any witnesses who may have seen the accident and their contact information
- Information about any law enforcement or official agency that was contacted regarding the accident
Because memories can fade, it is best to write down this information as soon as possible after the accident. Personal injury claims can take many months to settle so it is best to keep the details of your accident fresh in your mind.
Any Medical Information
Record any pertinent medical information, such as restrictions and the need for follow-up treatment. Record when you have a doctor’s visit and the travel related to these visits.
The Level of Pain You Are Experiencing
Your injury journal gives you an opportunity to discuss the pain and discomfort you have suffered since the accident. Describe how much it hurts and what part of your body is affected.
How Your Injury Has Affected Your Quality of Life
Discuss in your journal how the accident has impacted your work, family life and hobbies. Discuss what tasks you now need assistance with that you previously performed independently.
How Often You Should Make an Entry
After your accident, you will want to keep good documentation regarding your progress and your injuries. Many personal injury lawyers will recommend that you add an entry after important events, such as after seeing the doctor, learning about how the injury has impacted your life or dealing with excruciating pain. You may want to record entries every day so that you do not miss anything, but you should record entries at least on a weekly basis.
Your Injury Journal May Become Public Knowledge
It is important to remember that your injury journal is not the same thing as a typical journal. It may eventually be used in court as evidence. This means that you must be prepared for your private thoughts to be read in front of a courtroom full of people. You should not try to exaggerate your claim or be dishonest. The journal should be a true reflection of your experience. However, avoid saying anything in the journal that may be used against you, such as conflicting reports about how the accident happened or disparaging the defendant.
Contact Schmidt Kramer to Review Your Claim
If you were injured in an accident, it is important to begin documenting information about your accident. A trusted attorney at Schmidt Kramer may recommend seeking qualified medical treatment to document your injuries.
Our team of lawyers have extensive experience in all personal injury claims. We can discuss what you should document about your case during a free consultation. All of our services are available on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only have to pay for our legal fees if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Call (717) 888-8888 today to see how we might be able to help you.