After you’ve been injured in a car accident, your top priority should be your health and well-being. However, if you plan on pursuing legal action to recover damages, keeping a journal may be prudent. A diary following a car crash can be compelling evidence in your Kentucky personal injury claim.
You can keep your post-car wreck journal in paper or digital format. A cloud-based app on your phone and computer is quick and convenient. Remember to date all your entries. And recognize that your journal could be entered into evidence as part of your case.
The Central Kentucky car accident attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey have been serving clients in the Radcliff, Kentucky area for over 40 years. We can assess your case and advise how best to proceed.
Record Key Details of the Crash in Your Car Accident Journal
Ideally, at the time and scene of the crash, make a note of key details. If you can’t do it right away, write down what you remember as soon afterward as you can. You want to start your car accident journal while the memory is fresh.
Some information you may want to include:
- The date and time of the accident
- Make, model, and color of the other car
- What happened right before the crash (including behavior that could indicate the accident was caused by a drunk driver)
- What happened during the accident
- What happened after the crash, like interactions with the other driver
- Road and weather conditions at the time
- The exact location of the crash
- The directions you and the other driver were headed
- Names of any witnesses
- Statements made by the other driver or passengers
- Your thoughts at the time
Document Medical Care and Treatment
In the days, weeks, and months after the crash, you may have sought medical care. This can involve examinations of your injuries, as well as their treatment.
Information you should document in your Kentucky car crash journal may include:
- Dates and details for all medical appointments
- Descriptions of any injuries
- List of medications you are prescribed and/or are taking
- Dates and details for any treatment
- Billing amounts and other medical expenses
- Steps you have taken in recovery
A detailed account of your medical history before and after the crash can be beneficial in a car wreck case. It can clearly lay out the financial burden of the accident. It shows you are caring for your injuries to the best of your ability.
Describe the Physical, Emotional, and Psychological Effects of Your Kentucky Car Accident
A detailed medical record is useful. You can also describe your personal experience. Talk about your physical pain, plus any other symptoms. How are they impacting your day-to-day life? Were you unable to work? Or participate in activities or hobbies you had previously? What are some key triggers? How would you rate your pain?
This isn’t just about physical injury, either. Take the time to record your emotional state. Are there any lingering psychological effects? Do you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Are you having trouble sleeping? If you seek professional help for your mental health, keep a record of those appointments too.
A good pain journal can help you answer questions about the accident. Months down the road, you may not recall exactly how you felt days after the crash. The diary can demonstrate the ongoing difficulties you are enduring. What coping strategies are you trying? Are you experiencing depression or anxiety after the crash? This can support an emotional distress claim as part of your lawsuit.
Maintain Other Relevant Records
For a fuller picture of your Kentucky personal injury claim following a car crash, add other relevant records and details to your journal as well. This shows due diligence and provides a strong foundation for your claim.
You may choose to include:
- Time missed from work
- Lost pay as a result of missing work
- Missed professional or occupational opportunities
- Missed activities and events
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage, like car repairs
- Other expenses you are seeking to recover
Be as detailed as possible. Keep copies of all receipts, pay stubs, and other relevant documents. This makes it easier to calculate damages and justify your claim.
Show Changes Over Time
It is vital that you date every entry in your car accident journal. This creates a detailed timeline of events. You can establish how things were before, during, and after the car accident. With your diary, you can describe symptoms and how they improved or worsened over time. Did they regress? Did the treatment plan change over time?
Taken as a whole, your journal illustrates what your life is like after the car crash injury. It can be used as part of litigation, mediation, and the trial itself. This is a written record, in your own voice, of your experience. It shows the pain and suffering you’ve had to endure.
Compensate for the Fallibility of Memory
By its nature, human memory can be unreliable. Even if you don’t mean to do it, you might misremember key details. The defense can use any inconsistencies or irregularities against you. With a detailed journal, you can defer back to your own words that you wrote at that time. Reading them again can refresh your memory.
Legal proceedings can last for a long time. You may be asked questions about the crash many months after. By keeping a car accident journal and maintaining detailed records, you can be more confident in answering any questions about your experience.
Share Information With Your Central Kentucky Car Accident Attorney
Normally, personal diaries and journals are exactly that. They are personal. Thus, they aren’t often shared with other people. In the case of keeping a diary after a car crash, though, things are different. Go into this exercise knowing that everything you document may be entered into evidence.
Until the defense specifically requests your car accident journal through discovery, do not share it with anyone but your lawyer. The experienced attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey can advise you on what to include and how to include it. They can help you frame the best argument to support your claim. Along with other evidence, that’s how you can get the fair compensation you deserve.