Why you should journal after a car accident injury
Car accident cases can take many months to document and file in the court system. During those months, you might start to forget some of the earlier details of your injuries or the accident.
Journaling can help you document your pain and suffering, dates and times of medical appointments, missed work, vacation and sick days used at work and much more.
It’s a good idea to keep a detailed journal from the moment you’re well enough to do so following a car accident. We’ll explain what information you should document in your journal to aid your case with a personal injury attorney.
Pain and suffering from a car accident
While details from the car accident are fresh in your mind, journal about the pain and suffering you experience daily. Detail initial pain after an accident and ongoing medical challenges you face while recovering.
Your doctor’s notes and reports will play an important role in showing the clinical diagnoses of your injuries, it won’t show how much pain those injuries caused you.
Writing down how you feel each day while recovering will help prove your case when requesting punitive pain and suffering payments from the at-fault party.
When journaling, include information about different areas of your body where you experience pain. Don’t just say how much pain you’re in. Try to be specific about where the pain is and how it relates to your injuries.
Journaling about missed life events
A challenging part of experiencing physical injuries and the inconvenience of regular doctor appointments is that you’ll miss out on life events.
Take time to document what these are, whether they’re birthday parties or the weekly water aerobics class you enjoy attending.
Whether you miss the life event due to doctor appointments, phone calls with the insurance company or meetings with your attorney, be sure to write it down in the journal.
Additionally, you might miss life events due to your physical ailments. So both scheduling conflicts and physical ailments are missed life events you should capture.
Medications you’re taking
Having to take medications regularly to treat injuries from a car accident is an inconvenience you might not have considered.
You might need to adjust your schedule for taking other medications to avoid interactions. These types of adjustments are another inconvenience you might experience.
Document the medications you’re taking so you don’t forget and any side effects you might experience. Your doctor might recommend continuing to take a medication even when you’re experiencing mild, non-life-threatening side effects.
While this might be what’s best for your health in the long-term, it’s yet another inconvenience you face from the car accident. Showing these side effects will further prove the challenges you faced as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Conversations with insurance agents/witnesses/officials
You might forget the details of the conversations you have with other parties involved in the accident or investigation. Be sure to write down all conversations you have with the following third parties.
- Insurance agents – your agent and any other insurance agents involved in the case
- Witnesses – witnesses can serve an important role in proving who was at fault in the accident and the severity of the accident. They can provide a first-hand account of what happened.
- Officials – an official can serve as expert witnesses in your personal injury case. Capture their thoughts during any conversations by writing them down in your journal.
It’s a good idea to have your attorney present for all these conversations. But if you engage in these conversations before retaining a lawyer, you’ll want to document that information in your journal as soon as possible while the details are fresh in your mind.
Document when you attend doctor appointments and what you and your doctor discuss during those appointments. This will help you show how much time you had to devote to medical appointments.
While documenting this information, include the travel time required to go to the office and how long you spend at the office. This will show the total time commitment it took for you to attend medical appointments.
Impacts to your work
Write down all impacts to your work. These can be days you miss from work due to your injuries or appointments related to your case. You should include the number of days or hours you take sick and vacation time for your case.
You also must document adjustments you have to make to your job to accommodate your injuries. Throughout the course of your personal injury car accident case, write down any promotions you miss or work opportunities you can’t take due to your injuries.
Hiring a car accident attorney
You should schedule a case evaluation with a Virginia car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car accident.
One thing you don’t want to document is your conversations with your attorney. This information is protected by attorney-client privilege. If you document it, your journal could be used as evidence and those conversations could be exposed.
Instead, work through case details privately with your attorney and allow their office to keep these records. Their records are protected and won’t be called upon for evidence in your case under any circumstances.
Contact Gore & Kuperman for a free case evaluation and to learn how we can help you seek compensation for your injuries after a car accident.