A lot can happen a few hours or days after an accident. Injuries can occur, people can panic and make poor decisions, and memories of the event quickly fade. For that reason, it is vital to keep a detailed record of the aftermath of an accident in a pain journal.
A comprehensive journal can be invaluable later if you seek financial compensation for your injuries or losses. Here are a few key details you should include in your pain journal after an accident.
Details of the Accident
Start by describing in detail what happened that caused your injury. Record the date and time of the event, who was involved, where it happened, and how you were injured.
If it was a car accident, write down the other driver’s information, including their name, address, and contact information. Also, note the make, model, license plate number, and color of the car that hit you. If there were any witnesses around, remember to include their names and contact information in the journal.
Similarly, if you were involved in a work accident, state whether you filed an accident report. If you did, record the incident number in your journal. You can also save photos or footage of the work incident to help prove your claim later.
Details of Your Injuries
Take detailed notes of your injuries. It will help if you state the location and symptoms and how the injuries affect your life. Time of day the symptoms are more severe and how it restricts you, for example.
Rate your injuries on a scale of 1-10 based on their severity. If any activities make the symptoms worse, list them as well. Remember to write down your daily progress in your recovery, including how you are doing physically, emotionally, and mentally after the accident.
Information About Your Losses
Document any losses and damages you suffered as a result of the accident. If you could not return to work after the accident, include that information along with an estimate of how much you lost in wages in your journal.
Note any medical expenses you may have incurred due to your injuries. If your injuries resulted in long-term disability or disfigurement, add the information to your pain journal.
Conversations with Other Parties Involved
You will likely have conversations with different people, from the police to your insurance company and physicians. So, write down the date, time, and subject of each discussion you have.
Recording conversations is critical if you are yet to get a lawyer. However, if you already have an attorney, they may help you handle dealings with other parties in your case.
Why Keeping a Pain Journal is Crucial
Insurance companies often try to dispute claims that are too vague.
“If you have a well-organized pain journal, your lawyer may find it easy to evaluate your claim,” says personal injury lawyer Dan Christensen of DC Law. An attorney may use the details in your journal to strengthen your case and convince the insurance company to compensate you fairly.
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