After a car crash, slip and fall or other event that causes you to suffer an injury, many relevant facts quickly begin to slip away. Writing down what happened while it is still fresh can help to make sure critical details are not lost. This may not only strengthen the value of a potential lawsuit, but also the credibility of your statements.
How should you record your accident and the injuries you sustained? Jay Trucks and Associates talks about steps right after an accident and what should – and should not – be included in an accident journal.
If you were injured because of the negligent acts of another party, it may benefit you to contact our firm for legal help. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of the law, and we have been handling personal injury cases for over 30 years. We offer a completely free initial case review, so you can find out if you may have a valid case at no risk to you.
In addition to preserving details, seeking medical care and documenting your healing progress may also help to provide evidence for a lawsuit.
As with any accident, you should immediately contact 9-1-1 for emergency assistance and seek medical care. Keep in mind many serious injuries may not be visible and, due to shock, you may not even feel pain. However, even minor symptoms after a car crash should not be ignored. Doing so could place your health at risk.
In addition to protecting your health, immediately getting medical treatment creates an official record of your injury, which provides credible evidence and links your injuries to the incident.
Document The Accident
Documenting details about the accident may play an important role in helping investigators determine liability.
After calling 9-1-1, if you will not be placing yourself or others at risk:
- Take pictures of damage, such as vehicle damage in a car crash, skid marks, debris and the accident scene
- Photograph your visible injuries, as well as damages to clothing or other property
- Document basic facts, such as the date, time, location, weather and visibility
- Write down what you and the other parties involved were doing moments before the incident
- Make detailed notes about conversations with first responders, witnesses or others involved in the accident
- Record contact information – and a statement, if possible, of any eyewitnesses at the scene
Document Your Injuries
Recording your recovery progress may also impact the value of your case. For this reason, we strongly recommend maintaining an accident journal, which should include:
Doctor Appointment Records
The decisions you make after an accident play an important role in protecting your health and a potential case. After seeing any caregiver for an initial examination or follow-up care, be sure to consistently document:
- The names of treating doctors and other medical professionals
- Date, time and location of all appointments
- Medications prescribed
- Diagnostics and tests ordered
- Mileage and other costs for traveling to and from these visits
- Document provider conversations, including your plan of care, prognosis and more
In addition to this documentation, save all your medical bills, prescriptions and billing statements for any testing you received.
Although this may seem tedious, you should consistently record the progress of your injuries daily, including:
- Describe your symptoms – such as a pounding or throbbing headache, blurry vision, sharp, hot pain in your leg, etc.
- Rate the level of pain from one and 10, with 10 being the worst level of pain
In addition to recording symptoms, include any limitations related to your injuries. Describe activities, even mundane tasks, you can no longer do – or that you cannot do without pain. Do not exaggerate or lie, but do be accurate and specific about:
- Household tasks – such as cooking, cleaning, laundry
- Personal care – including bathing, dressing and feeding yourself
- Running errands – such as getting food or prescriptions – document if you cannot go out
- Hobbies you previously enjoyed, such as sports, playing an instrument, dancing
- Your ability to be independent and care for yourself
- Being able to go to work
- How your pain and limitations are affecting your personal relationships
Do Not Include
Your accident journal should not be thought of as a personal diary, so do not ramble or talk about confidential information you would not want anyone else to read.
In short, be truthful, concise, factual and consistent. This journal will be used for evidence, so it may be presented to your insurance company or others involved in deciding the outcome of your case.
Contact Our Firm for Legal Help After an Accident
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are ready to help you recover compensation after an accident due to another’s negligence.
Contact our firm to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. During this meeting, we are prepared to discuss your legal options and answer your questions.
We have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of other injured clients, and we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. There are no upfront costs or fees while we work on your case. We do not get paid unless you do.
Experienced Legal Help on Your Side: (800) 762-8623