personal injury journal

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

Evidence is king in a personal injury case, and you would be surprised just how much evidence is lost in the hours and days after a car accident. After everyone leaves the scene, a road crew sweeps away much of the physical evidence of the crash.

As time passes, eyewitnesses’ testimony becomes less reliable, and your own memories of the accident weaken. A personal injury journal that you maintain every day combats this and provides valuable evidence for your claim.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, find out if you are owed compensation. Call Olmstead & Olmstead at 703-361-1555 to schedule your consultation now.

How the Journal Works

A personal injury journal has a very specific purpose. It tracks the details of your accident, injuries, and other aspects of your personal injury claim. The information included in it highlights the ways that your life has been impacted by the accident, making it harder for the insurance company to claim that your life is “back to normal.” Your journal can also provide additional evidence for the facts of the accident, particularly if you write down your memories of the crash right away.

When you begin a journal, remember that consistency is important. One entry about the accident and what happened at the hospital afterward is not enough. You’ll need to write in it multiple times per week, if not daily. The more details and verifiable facts you include, the harder it will be for the liable party’s insurance company to discredit your side of the story.

Benefits in a Personal Injury Case

Keeping a personal injury journal offers several important benefits. First, it ensures that you keep the accident fresh in your mind. This is important when you have to tell your side of the story to insurance agents, your attorney, and other parties. If you can refresh your memory with what you wrote down, you’re less likely to leave out key details or important facts.

Second, a personal injury journal tracks the progress of your injuries. If an injury keeps you from working, taking care of household chores, or otherwise impacts your life, you definitely want the insurance company to know that. These details get lost over time.

When you have to speak to the insurance company and tell them how your injury has affected your quality of life, how likely are you to remember that you haven’t been able to do laundry for two weeks? Will you recall the day that you stayed in bed all day because of unbearable pain? Will you remember to tell them that you haven’t been able to pick your child up from school, causing them to spend an additional 40 minutes per day on the bus? These details can increase the value of your settlement.

What to Include in a Personal Injury Journal

A lot depends on the circumstances of your accident, so make sure to ask your personal injury attorney about what you should include. Some of the items you may wish to cover in your personal injury journal include:

  • Your pain level each day
  • Any planned activities or tasks that were canceled or changed due to your injury
  • Days that you called out from work or left early due to your injury
  • Dates that you received medical treatment
  • Use of pain medication
  • A full retelling of the accident from your point of view

In general, it’s always better to include as much detail as possible. When writing in your journal, try to keep it fact-based and leave emotions out as much as possible. The exception to this is if you are writing about mental health concerns or trauma caused by the accident.

Choose Olmstead & Olmstead for Your Personal Injury Needs

A car accident can leave you with significant financial and physical consequences. If another party caused your crash, you should not carry the burden of medical bills, time off of work, and property damage on your own. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To set up a consultation with Olmstead & Olmstead now, call us at 703-361-1555 or get in touch with our team online.

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