Been Told To Keep A Personal Injury Journal? Follow These Tips
If you recently suffered an injury that you're going to be seeking compensation for in court, your personal injury attorney may have recommended that you keep a journal to document your recovery process. The reason for this is that it can take many months for your case to be heard, and it will be difficult to remember and document things, like pain and suffering. The journal can help you defend your case in mediation or if it goes to trial. Here are some tips for what you should be writing down.
It can be difficult to explain how painful something is, especially when everyone has their own pain tolerances. However, a journal helps demonstrate how those pain levels have changed over time, and if they are improving or getting worse.
You will want to rate your pain on a numerical scale of 1 to 10. With each journal entry, you can describe how the pain has changed since your last journal entry and give it a new rating. It is important to give some sort of written explanation with your rating so you can remember why you rated it that way if you need to recall in the future. You may have the same numerical pain rating from one week to the next, but found that one symptom improved while another got worse. This will help shed a lot of light on the nature of your injury later.
Don't be afraid to rate your pain high, and then adjust the scale later on. If you started with the pain level being an 8, but later it increases, feel free to adjust and now say it is at a number higher than 10 if necessary. It's hard to tell exactly how painful an injury will be at first, but it's important that your tracking of the pain is accurate
Similar to your pain levels, you want to write down what your mental state is like with each journal entry. For example, if you got into a car accident, are you fearful of getting into a car again? Has the fear improved over time, or gotten worse? Do you suffer panic attacks frequently after your injury? All of these things can help let others know what kind of mental suffering you are going through, and help award you with proper compensation.
If you have questions about what you should be recording, speak with your injury lawyer for assistance.