If you are injured in a vehicle accident or suffer any other type of injury at the hands of another party, you will need strong evidence to prove the extent of the losses you have suffered. This may include not only direct monetary losses such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and property damage, but also noneconomic losses such as pain-and-suffering, psychological distress, and loss of enjoyment.
Economic damages are fairly easy to prove, there are receipts for medical bills and car repairs, and you will usually have a pretty good idea of how much earning capacity you have lost during the time you missed from work. Noneconomic damages, however, are more intangible and difficult to quantify.
For example, in order to show the extent of the physical pain you are experiencing and the emotional trauma you are dealing with as you face an uncertain future, it is important to describe it in detail. The challenge is that most of us have a hard time remembering how we are feeling from day to day, and because recovering from an injury is a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, it may be difficult to recall everything you have gone through after some time has passed. This is where a personal injury journal can be very helpful.
What is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is an account of your injury, how it happened, what has happened since your injury, and how it has affected your life. This could be a written journal or an electronic journal that you keep on your computer. If you are physically unable to use either of these formats, you can record an audible journal using the voice recorder on your smartphone. Your personal injury journal should be as detailed as possible and describe the most important things about your injury and recovery process. You should make journal entries regularly, daily if possible, or as often as your lawyer advises you to.
What Should I Include in My Personal Injury Journal?
Here are some of the most important things you should document in your personal injury journal:
- Details About How the Injury Happened: Document the time, date, and location of the accident or event that caused the injury. Describe what happened immediately before, during, and after the event, who was involved, who witnessed the event, contact information of witnesses, contact information of the police officer who came to the scene and created a report, and any statements and/or actions you observed the responsible party making.
- Medical Appointments: You may be seeing multiple health professionals as you try to recover from your injury, such as an ER doctor, physician, surgeon, chiropractor, physical therapist, and psychologist. Note in your journal the date you saw each professional and the details of each visit.
- Medications and Treatments: The health professionals you are seeing will most likely prescribe various medications and treatments. Take note of each of these, dates they were prescribed, dosages, and other important details.
- Time Out of Work: If your injury has kept you from going to your job, note each day that you have missed work and approximately how much you have lost in earnings and benefits as a result.
- Pain and Discomfort that you have Experienced: Take note each day or as often as you can how you are feeling both physically and emotionally. Describe in as much detail as possible the pain, discomfort, and psychological distress that you are experiencing because of the injury.
- How the Injury has Affected your Life: Take note of the ways in which your injury has diminished your quality of life. How has it inhibited your mobility? What favorite activities are you no longer able to enjoy? What tasks that used to be simple and easy are now difficult or impossible? What special events have you missed out on because of your injury? How has your injury burdened your loved ones or prevented you from taking care of them?
How Will a Personal Injury Journal Help my Case?
If you have suffered any type of personal injury, keeping a journal will provide a first-hand account that documents the full extent of the losses you have suffered in an organized manner. Having a personal injury journal will strengthen your case, because it will allow your legal counsel to demonstrate in great detail the many ways that the injury has impacted your life.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you or a loved one suffered injury because of the actions of another party, it is best to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible, so you understand your rights and options, and so they can get to work right away on your case. Your attorney can advise you on important matters such as keeping a personal injury journal, and they can provide the strong legal guidance you need to bring your case to a successful conclusion.
In Spartanburg, SC or the surrounding communities, contact the Nowell Law Firm for assistance. Call our office today at (864) 469-2481 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment.