Understanding How an Injury Journal Can Help You in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In the aftermath of a personal injury, it’s important to maintain a detailed journal in which you make entries describing every noteworthy aspect of the accident and everything you go through afterward. A well-maintained journal can be a great asset in a personal injury case. This article looks at how such a journal should be maintained, and what to keep in mind.
Sometimes, insurance companies hesitate to pay compensation to injury victims, in view of protecting their bottom lines. The adjuster assigned to your claim may attempt to assert that your injuries aren’t serious in nature, or that you actually share fault for the accident.
Certainly, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to defend your case can help you overcome these challenges. There is something else that you can do, as well, however: you could start and maintain an accident and injury journal, in which you record every detail, from one day to the next. A journal can help you strengthen your case.
A thorough record of your pain and suffering in the form of a diary can directly affect your chances in court; in addition, sharing this information with your doctors as you seek medical treatment, could help you, as well. When your doctors hear detailed descriptions of your pain, they are likely to put these down in your medical records. These then show up as reliable proof of your problems in court.
What should you write in your accident journal?
Recording your journal, you should be as precise and detailed as possible. It can help to keep thinking about the accident, and to write in your journal anything relevant that comes to mind. The following are examples of details that are likely to be helpful:
- Objective details such as the location, the date and time of the accident, and the names and addresses of witnesses.
- Information about your starting location, and your destination.
- A description of what the weather, light, and visibility were like.
- A description of the exact maneuvers you were making at the time – turning, speeding up, merging, and so on.
- How fast you were going.
- A hand-drawn picture of the accident site.
- A detailed description of your injuries.
- Every detail that you can remember about your treatment at the hospital, both on the day, and afterward.
Tips on making your accident journal as useful as possible
While there is no one specific way in which to go about putting a journal together, a few tips may help.
- Your personal injury lawyer will usually try to keep your journal out of the hands of the defendant’s insurance company, but they may be granted a discovery request that allows them to view it. It is important, for this reason, to be professional in the way you record your journal.
- It can be a challenge to describe pain in an objective way that others are likely to understand. It would make sense to download Cancer.org‘s daily pain worksheet (cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/worksheets/pain-diary.pdf) to help you do it.
Suing for a personal injury in the middle of the pandemic
A personal injury that occurs at a time when the courts in Maryland are particularly slow processing lawsuits because of the pandemic, can be difficult to deal with. The defendants may assume that the slowness of the legal system is likely to discourage you and make you open to accepting lowball offers. It’s important to understand that a slow legal system is no reason to accept less than you deserve, however. It’s important, always, to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as early as possible, to see how exactly the dynamics of your case can be dealt with.