Maximizing Your Personal Injury Case – The Importance of a Post-Crash Journal

Keeping track of each day following a truck, motorcycle, or car crash is extremely important. If you want to maximize your personal injury claim, you should keep records in a daily diary. Most personal injury cases do not settle or go to court for months after the accident. No matter what types of injuries you may have stemming from the crash, you probably won’t be able to remember the detail of each day leading up to settlement. A daily journal is the most effective way for an injured party to communicate how badly they are suffering, and how their treatment is progressing. Attorneys, car insurance companies, judges, and juries may be able to review your daily journal to get a sound understanding of what all you have gone through since being a crash victim.

Your journal should keep record of each of the following:

  1. The date that you first experienced pain, and when that pain intensified or decreased.
  2. The type, location, intensity, and duration of your pain.
  3. Any physical or mental restrictions that you now have because of your injuries and pain.
  4. Any medications you have taken or that you are taking because of your injuries and pain.
  5. Any doctor’s you have treated with (doctor’s name, address, and phone number).
  6. Dates of doctor or healthcare provider treatment and type of treatment.
  7. Any activity, hobby, or work related duty that you can no longer perform because of your pain or injuries.
  8. Any dates that you missed work because of accident-related injuries or pain.
  9. Any updated photographs of the healing progression of your injuries.
  10. Any significant changes in relationships as a cause of your pain and injuries.

It is important to keep track of when you first started experiencing pain, and the type of pain you were having. There are several types of injuries that don’t come on until several days after a car crash because of swelling, contusions, and adrenaline. Therefore, keeping track of how and when an injury developed can be beneficial to an attorney, insurance adjuster, and a doctor. Similarly, keeping track of the type and intensity of pain you are experiencing is important to classify your injuries by seriousness.

If you have mental or physical restrictions because of your injuries, your journal is a good place to describe those restrictions in detail. Also, keeping track of the accident-related medications that you are taking, and even saving receipts from those medications can be helpful. The portion of your diary where you keep track of the doctors, hospitals, physicians, etc. that you have treated with is extremely important. Insurance companies and attorneys will both have to order medical records and bills and make sense of your treatment with each medical provider. You will expedite your case by making notes of the dates that you treated with each provider, and of the provider’s contact information.

Any time that you had to miss work due to your injury should also be notated in your journal. Likewise, any activity that you were able to perform before the crash that you can no longer perform should be recorded in your diary. Photographs of injuries, daily thoughts and feelings, and changes in relationships can also be recorded in your diary. Ultimately, keeping a diary after a car accident will be a huge help to doctors, insurance companies, and attorneys.