If you have been injured in a truck accident, you are going to need strong evidence to prove your case as well as the extent of your damages. You may be entitled to economic damages, such as medical treatment and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Proving just about anything related to a truck accident can be challenging because these cases can be complex and contentious. Unlike car accident cases, several different parties can be held responsible for a truck accident, and you are likely to meet resistance from the insurance companies at every turn.
One of the tools you can use to strengthen your truck accident case is a personal injury journal. Here is what you need to know about personal injury journals and how they can help your case.
What is a Personal Injury Journal?
A personal injury journal is your firsthand account of the difficulties and pain you have experienced after being involved in an accident with a commercial truck. It should accurately reflect the issues that have arisen in your life following the accident, as well as the pain and suffering you continue to endure.
Your injury journal can be typed or handwritten. The content of your journal should remain private and not shared with anyone but your accident attorney, who can help you decide what you should include to strengthen your case.
How Can a Personal Injury Journal Help Your Truck Accident Case?
Even if an accident and the resulting injuries are fresh in your mind, memories fade with time. Further, it can be difficult to convey a concept like pain and suffering without some type of evidence.
A personal injury journal is your record, in your own words, of what happened during the accident and throughout your recovery process. It is also a way to contextualize your non-economic damages like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
What to Include in Your Personal Injury Journal
There are many areas you should cover in your personal injury journal that may help with your truck accident case. The contents of your journal should include:
Details About Your Accident
One of the first entries you should make is your recollection of the truck accident. The details you might want to mention include:
- The condition of the roads and weather
- Any hazards that remember being present
- The time of day the accident occurred
- The location where the accident occurred
- The names of any witnesses and their contact information
- The responsible party’s actions during the crash
- The agency and name of any responding officers
Pain and Discomfort You Experience
Following your accident, you should document the pain and discomfort you experience daily. This should include a description of the pain, a level (rate it from 1 to 10), the frequency of the pain, and its location. Avoid the temptation to exaggerate your pain levels, but instead, keep a running journal of what you are experiencing.
How Your Life Has Been Impacted
One of the most important things you can document regularly is how your life has been affected by the accident and your injuries. This can help you prove non-economic damages. Some examples are listing the ways your injuries have:
- Prevented you from caring for loved ones;
- Made everyday tasks difficult or impossible;
- Limited your mobility;
- Prevented you from attending events;
- Stopped you from enjoying and participating in pastimes and hobbies; and
- Created a burden for your loved ones.
Time You Missed from Work
If you have missed time from work, you should note this in your journal as well as list the amount of your lost wages.
Appointments and Travel Related to Your Injury
When you are seriously injured, attending medical appointments can seem like a new full-time job. To claim fair compensation for your travel expenses and burden, make sure you list every appointment you attend and document the distance it takes to get there.
The Type of Medical Care You Receive
Insurance companies can request medical records, but you should keep independent documentation of the medical treatment you receive after a truck accident. In your journal, list every appointment, including the date and the type of treatment you received. You can also make some notes about how you’ve responded to treatment. Finally, list any co-payments our out-of-pocket costs that you are asked to pay for prescriptions, medical equipment, or appointments.
How Often Should You Write in Your Personal Injury Journal?
Immediately following the accident, your injuries are likely the most severe, and you are probably dealing with a lot of pain and suffering. During this time, you might wish to make frequent journal entries, as often as once per day. As time progresses, it may not be necessary to post this frequently, but you should still write an entry at least once per week. Your attorney can give you additional guidance on a recommended schedule.
Why Your Journal May Not Stay Private
It’s important to note that, unlike your teenage diary or another type of personal journal, your personal injury journal may not stay private. Since the document contains your recollection of the accident and other relevant medical details, it could be used as evidence by either side if your case goes to trial.
This fact shouldn’t prevent you from keeping a journal. But, you should always have experienced legal counsel in your corner that will protect your interests.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Speak with a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, keeping a personal injury journal is just one of the things you should do. Others include getting the medical care you need and speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney.
At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, we have over two decades of experience helping the victims of serious accidents throughout the Pittsburgh area. Our skilled legal team will evaluate your situation and advise you of the legal options available to recover maximum compensation.
Contact our office today at 412-391-9860, toll-free at 866-466-5789, or message us online to schedule a free case evaluation.