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Recording your experiences related to the accident in a diary or log on a daily basis can strengthen your claim. In personal injury cases, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff and the attorney representing the plaintiff. Your diary will serve as part of the evidence needed to prove your claim. The diary will also help your attorney personalize your demand and show how the accident has affected your life.
What Questions Should You Answer in Your Accident Diary?
- How did the accident happen? What were the weather conditions?
- How were you feeling after the accident? Were you in any pain?
- What did the medical provider say when you were checked the day of the accident?
- How did you feel the day after the accident? How have your injuries progressed? Have they gotten worse or better?
- How has the accident affected your life? What has been difficult? What have you missed out on?
What else should you include?
- Visits to the doctor
- Time spent at the doctor
- Medications taken
- How you feel
- Medical expenses
- Emotional trauma after the accident
- Missed time at work
- If you are able to keep up with daily tasks
- Damage to your vehicle and repair costs
- Time spent at the body shop or getting a rental car
- Missed opportunities in your life, such as vacations, special events or athletic events
Use a Form That Works for You
There is no right or wrong way to format your diary. The key is to keep it simple and easily accessible so that you write in it consistently. You can keep the records in a private blog, leather journal, spreadsheet, or on your phone. Just do what works for you.
Do Not Procrastinate
If you haven’t already, begin today to keep track of what has been going on. Writing down what happens soon after means the details will be fresh in your mind. It makes it easier to prove your claims and get the settlement you deserve.
Keep it Brief
Your accident diary should only take up a few minutes of your day. Do not spend hours writing down all the details. Your log should not interfere with your other daily tasks. You may find that as your injuries heal, you have less to write about and that is okay.
Realize Others Will Read Your Diary
Be prepared. You will be sharing these records with your attorney, and while you are protected by attorney-client privilege, your attorney is going to need to share your observations with the other parties involved.
Your Accident Diary is NOT for the General Public
Do not publish your log on the Internet, such as on your social media profile, or on a public blog. If you do, that you will waive any attorney-client privilege you might have had. It is best to keep your log between you and your attorney with the knowledge that the entries may be read in court one day.
Record anything you think is relevant in your accident diary about how the accident affected your life and what you have gone through, due to the accident. This record can be valuable evidence supporting your claim and showing all the pain and suffering you have gone through.
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