WHY YOU NEED A PERSONAL INJURY JOURNAL
When accidents happen as the result of someone’s negligence, it is often hard for an insurance company or a jury to fully understand how the injury has impacted the victim’s life. “When accidents happen, the focus of the injured is primarily on trying to get better. As a result, often the specific details of that recovery like the constant pain, the strain on relationships, the impact on employment get lost in the victim’s effort to recovery and frustration for even being placed in the position of having to recover. One of the tools I try to provide my clients with is the actual journal and understanding of how to best document the highs and lows throughout their recovery,” Lawyer John Hayes explained.
Initially, they should be certain to detail their recollection of the accident or injury causing incident. Paying particular attention to the details of their actions and the at fault party(s). Identifying, to the best of their memory, exactly what they did leading up to the accident/incident, every turn and observation they recall. Even seemingly inconsequential facts can end up being determinative. Documenting timeframes, weather and what the other party(s) to the accident/incident did as well as what might have been said is crucial.
Sometimes, one of the most important pieces of information that gets left out related to an accident/incident is identifying any witnesses. Giving your attorney as much information, early on, about witnesses will assist in tracking them down and documenting their recollection as close in time to the accident/incident. As we all know, people tend to have more reliable memories the closer in time to an event so the sooner their recollection can be documented the better.
Ongoing and changing pain/discomfort throughout a person’s recovery is particularly difficult to explain months or years after experiencing it but by detailing those moments through a victim’s recovery, while it’s happening, paints a much clearer picture for the insurance company, judge or jury. Especially when pain can sometimes be the most defining factor through a person’s recovery.
“Detailing the level of pain/discomfort is not necessarily the most important thing in journaling but rather identifying how someone’s pain/discomfort are impacting their lives is. An injury could be the difference between providing for one’s family or not. That is where the brush hits the canvas; explaining how an injury is preventing a victim from the activities they need or love on a daily or weekly basis; how the injury is changing their lives as its happening,” Hayes noted.
The assumption that insurance companies or juries will naturally understand the impact injuries have on people’s lives and be sympathetic is often not true but a journal can change that by bringing that victim’s experiences to life much like a movie or book that tells us a story that brings us to tears; we can then see it and imagine it. “A story without much substance and/or detail is hard to connect with and making that connection is key for any good lawyer. The journal provides your attorney the tool to make that happen,” explained Hayes.