The Importance of Keeping a Personal Injury Journal

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on August 16, 2019 and updated on March 6, 2022.

writing in a journalWhen you are injured in an accident, having a personal injury journal may help you. Find out what a personal injury journal is, what should be included in one and how it may benefit your claim.

If you have been injured in an accident and have any questions concerning your legal options, contact an experienced attorney from our team at Peter T. Nicholl and let us see what we can do for you.

What Is a Personal Injury Journal?

A personal injury journal helps accident victims keep track of important information about their personal injury claim. There may be a substantial amount of time between the accident and the insurance settlement or trial. A personal injury journal can help keep important details fresh, so the victim does not struggle to remember them when needed.

A personal injury journal can be kept in a notebook or electronically, such as a document on your computer or via a mobile phone app. Generally, the victim should keep track of pertinent information and add to the journal daily.

What Should It Include?

Your lawyer can explain what information to keep in your personal injury journal. This may include:

  • Your account of the accident – It is best to write down exactly what you remember about the accident as soon as possible. Document the time of day, weather conditions or any road construction at the time of the accident.
  • Doctor’s appointments – Keeping track of all doctor’s appointments as well as notes on treatment can help you stay organized and prevent you from missing an appointment.
  • Your pain and other symptoms – You will want to make note of where you are experiencing pain, when the pain is most severe and how severe it is. You will also want to document other symptoms that you experience, such as swelling, irritation, discomfort, lack of movement and so on.
  • Physical and mental limitations – It may also benefit you to describe the physical and mental limitations you experience and how they affect your lifestyle.
  • Information about medication – Record the type of medication you have been prescribed, the dosage and the frequency that you must take it. Be sure to keep all receipts.
  • Time missed from work – Document how many days and hours you have missed from work due to the accident. Include time you missed because you were seeing a doctor, days when your doctor said you should not work and days you had to call in because the pain or other symptoms were too severe.

It is important for personal injury victims to understand that the journal may be viewed by various people, like your lawyer, insurance adjusters, or jury. The victim must write the journal knowing that it may become public. Because of this, there is certain information that should be left out of the personal injury journal, including:

  • Admissions of fault or liability for the accident
  • Notes about not following a doctor’s recommended treatment plan
  • Confidential conversations you had with your attorney
  • Private conversations you had with your spouse
  • Blaming statements against the defendant

Contact Our Trusted Attorneys for Help with Your Claim Today

If you were injured in an accident, it is important to have a legal advocate on your side who is prepared to work diligently to protect your interests. The experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices can discuss what to include in your journal and may give you more helpful tips about how to increase the value of your claim.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.