The Importance of Keeping a Post-Crash Journal

Keeping track of each day following a truck, motorcycle, or auto accident is extremely important.  If you want to maximize your Missouri injury claim, you should keep records in a daily journal.  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 and 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.

Sample journal entries may look like this:March 18, 2013

  • After yesterday’s crash, I was taken by ambulance to Barnes Jewish West County Hospital.  At the hospital, I was given several x-rays, and I was diagnosed with a bulging disc. I was prescribed vicodin and returned home.  I had trouble sleeping last night because of the sharp, stabbing pain in my lower neck and upper back.
  • Today I began treating with Dr. Pain NoMore at The Pain Management Centre.  He evaluated me and gave me an MRI. Dr. Pain NoMore referred me to Get Better Physical Therapy and I have an appointment there on 03/21/13.  Dr. Pain NoMore has excused me from work at XYZ Pharmacy until 3/18/13. Because of my hourly wage, I estimate that I will lose $2,500 from being off work.
  • I was unable to pick up my three-year old daughter today, and I am having trouble completing daily tasks such as brushing my hair. I have also noticed that coughing causes my pain to increase.

Hopefully this example can provide you with a starting point for your daily journal.  Oftentimes car crash victims will start a journal early on, and will stop making entries.  This is a mistake because a daily journal can help to both expedite and maximize your case.  If you need any help compiling a journal, feel free to call an experienced Missouri injury attorney for help.  Help is only a phone call or mouse-click away.

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