Why you should keep an injury diary.
I would like to offer an expanded version of the brief tips brought to listeners of KICKS 105.5, by me, Putnam County’s Personal Injury Attorney. I will continue to offer expanded versions of my brief tips in future blog posts.
I recognize that every individual has a unique set of circumstances, so here is some general information that applies to everyone. If you have specific questions about your situation, please call me directly.
I want to begin by emphasizing the importance of keeping records after you’ve suffered an injury. The amount of information that can be forgotten, or becomes blurry, in the days following an injury can be substantial.
Keeping an Injury Diary
DO record all events leading up to the moment of injury, what happened at the moment of injury, as well as the events immediately following the injury. An injury diary with accurate records will help establish a timeline and will provide a credible summary of the circumstances involved in your injury. These records can provide significant assistance to your attorney, should you need to take legal action.
- road conditions
- poor lighting
- contributing factors such as alcohol, inattentiveness due to texting
- a witness roster
DO discuss in advance with a trusted family member or friend that you would like them to keep records for you, if you should ever suffer an incapacitating injury. Understandably, if someone has suffered a traumatic injury, or has endured significant pain or loss due to injury, keeping a detailed record of the events is not going to be a priority. However, with a little preparation you can ensure that accurate records can be kept should you ever need them.
DO take pictures of your injuries if you have visible injuries, as soon as possible.
DO NOT procrastinate or convince yourself that you will remember every detail surrounding the incident leading up to your injury. You may tell yourself that you will never forget the sound of the crash or breaking glass, but don’t risk it.
- Write down as much as you can remember within the first 24 to 48 hours. No detail is too small.
- Don’t wait until you’re feeling better physically and emotionally. Your recall will fade and along with it critical information is likely to be forgotten.
DO NOT underestimate the importance of filing a report with appropriate authorities. Records produced and maintained by third parties, such as the police or medical professionals, provide an objective source for factual material. It is very important to:
- Seek immediate medical treatment! This is particularly important advice for those who have suffered non-life threatening injuries, as some serious injuries may not be readily apparent. Your condition should be evaluated by a medical professional. Toughing it out is a bad idea.
- Avoid ambiguity and establish cause and effect connection immediately. An injury sustained in May should be treated in May. Don’t wait until November. Delays in obtaining medical treatment can have serious long-term health consequences, as well as affecting your case.
DO NOT ignore ongoing serious pain. If you have been told at an initial medical evaluation that you do not have a serious injury, such as a fracture, but continue to have serious pain, follow-up with your physician or seek a second opinion.
- Keep an injury diary.
- Log every day and hour and that you suffer with that pain.
- Note difficulties that you have doing activities that you performed routinely prior to your injury.
- Record every day of work that you have lost as a result of pain, loss of mobility, hospitalization and other injury-related ailments that have disrupted your everyday life.
- Keep track of any missed activities such as outings with friends and family or missed professional growth opportunities.
DO NOT SHARE INFORMATION PUBLICLY
It is extremely important to control what you and others share publicly about your injuries.
- Avoid the urge to post anything that relates to your injuries or the details of your case on Facebook, or any other social media sites, including photographs!
- Prevent friends and family members from posting about your injuries.
- Remember that your posts and those from other people can compromise your case.
If you have any questions about the information contained in this article, or would like to discuss the details of your own injury, please either call me at 845-279-7000 or complete the contact form on this page.