A journal of your injuries can serve as a powerful tool in your personal injury lawsuit. The better documented your injuries are, and the way you are affected by them, the more likely it is that you will be awarded the full compensation you deserve. There are certain types of information and details that will help to strengthen you case. It is important to focus your personal injury journal on these things.
What To Document In Your Journal
- Record of medical treatments and doctor visits, including details on the nature, extent, and progress of your injuries, as well as advice your health care provider gives you during the visit.
- Record of all medical bills.
- Record of treating health care providers: names, addresses, phone numbers, details about the treatment, and any other pertinent information.
- Record of people who witnessed the accident, and record of people who witnessed particular events of how your life was impacted after the accident.
- Maintain records of income loss and other details about your employment, document days of work missed, how your earning capacity is affected, and any ways in which your job performance suffered as a result of your injuries.
- How you are affected by your injuries.
Describing How You Are Affected by Your Injuries
Thoroughly and accurately describe how your everyday activities are affected by the pain and discomfort of your injuries. It is important to record how your life has truly been impacted. Consider the following things that may have been affected: mobility, enjoyment of life, personal relationships, your ability to play and interact with your kids, your intimacy with your spouse, how you are able to perform at your job, etc. Never fabricate or exaggerate in your journal, but do be detailed and clear.
Document your pain and suffering in your own words. Write down what you felt at the accident scene, during medical treatment, and after the accident. Document your injuries in detail. Discuss how each affected area of your body feels, and if there is limited range of motion or movement. Describe your feelings and emotions. Be careful not to be overly pessimistic, but rather, be mindful to describe positive steps are you taking and how you are trying to manage the affects of your injuries to the best of your ability.
Your Journal May Be Discoverable
Understand that a personal injury journal may be discoverable during the course of litigation. This means that you may have to share a copy of it with the defendant in your case, and that portions of it may come out in court. It is important to be honest and detailed in your journal, but do keep in mind that confidentiality is not guaranteed.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
At Miller Lathrop our practice has proved that about 65% of all cases we handle are resolved by settlement without ever filing a lawsuit. In 2016, the Nebraska Federal Court reported 230 civil case filings for the year. There were 22 cases tried that same year. So, only about 10 percent of all cases filed ever go to trial. Learn more in our article What Happens If My Claim Cannot Be Settled?
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Miller Lathrop serves clients throughout Eastern Nebraska and parts of Western Iowa including Douglas County, Sarpy County, Lancaster County, and Pottawattamie County, as well as the cities of Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Elkhorn, and Council Bluffs.