A personal injury journal can make a significant difference in a personal injury lawsuit. It can help you receive the full compensation that you deserve for your injury.
What is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is a place for an injured person to track events and symptoms on a daily basis. In the state of Georgia, a personal injury case can take a significant amount of time to wind its way through the court process. It is important that you carry your journal with you so you can update as events and symptoms as they occur. Your personal injury can be a simple notebook or a daily calendar, whatever works for you. There may be days when you make multiple notations in your journal.
As time goes by and your injuries heal, there may be days when you make no entries in your journal. However, you should not go more than seven days without making an entry in your personal injury journal. As a general rule, if you are unsure if something should be included in your personal injury journal, include it. It is better to include something unimportant than to miss something useful. You are likely not a personal injury attorney. Let your personal injury attorney decide which facts are important and which fact are not. Do not rely on your memory, it will fade and events will blur together.
What Information Do I Include in My Personal Injury Journal?
If your lawyer will be arguing for damages for pain and suffering, it is important to record your level of pain and suffering. It can be useful to use a one to 10 scale. Be specific about your pain, including when you are experiencing pain. Also record your pain level when you wake up and again after you take any pain medication. Some days you may experience little to or pain. It is important to include that in your journal as well. That will give you credibility with the finder of fact. It is important that you are open and honest.
Do not overstate your symptoms and do not understate your symptoms. Do not make broad generalizations that can be easily disproven if you are called to testify in a deposition or in court. Statements like, “I was miserable all day” are not helpful. Statements like, “When I woke up it was a struggle to get out of bed. My pain was at a level 10. After taking my pain medication, my pain was a seven, but everything was fuzzy and I could not focus” are much more helpful.
Concerns About Privacy
As previously stated, it is important that you be open and honest in your personal injury journal. But be advised that some of your journal may be shared with the opposing side and the court. Write your entries in a professional manner. Do not write in anger about the person or company you believe harmed you. If you are open and honest, you will have nothing to be embarrassed about if the contents of your personal injury journal are revealed.
Make a Record of All Doctors You See
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be forced to see multiple doctors and multiple specialists. It is important to record the contact information for all medical professionals you see in your personal injury journal. At some point you may need testimony from those professionals. It will make it much easier for your attorneys if you can provide contact information by simply looking in your journal.
Make a Record of All Witnesses
Just like you recorded contact information for your doctors, you should do the same for any other witnesses that can be helpful to your case. This can include witnesses to the personal injury event itself or any witnesses that can provide evidence about the impact the personal injury has had on you. Again, having this information documented in your journal will make it much easier working with your attorneys and preparing your case.
Make a Record of all Doctor Appointments and Other Visits to Medical Professionals
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may have so many doctor appointments and other visits to medical professionals that they all blur together. It is crucial that you record each of these appointments as they occur. It is also important that you record any instructions you receive from the medical professionals. Further, record any activities you do following those instructions. This should be done on a daily basis.
Record Your Mental and Emotional Status
Unfortunately, personal injury cases can go beyond physical damage. Those damages can also affect the mental and emotional status of the injured person. It is important to track your daily mental and emotional status just like you track your physical status. In order to recover damages for emotional and mental harm suffered, you need to provide a fact finder with evidence. A personal injury journal updated regularly will help your attorney win you the maximum amount of compensation.
Track Loss of Income, Earning Capacity, and other Wage Loss
Personal injuries can frequently cause the injured person to miss work. This can include time in the hospital, time at home recovering and time when you are simply physically unable to perform the tasks required by your job. This can also include the loss of overtime. It is important to provide income tax returns, pay stubs, W-2s and any other documentation to support any claims in your case.
I am Keeping a Personal Injury Journal, What Do I Do Now?
Personal injury cases are complicated. The facts surrounding the initial injury can be hard to prove. The damages you have sustained can also be complicated and difficult to prove. You need a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta, GA. If you have been injured in the state of Georgia, please contact the Bader Law Firm, LLC. We will meet with you and discuss your case at no charge. Please contact us today.