A Washington Attorney Explains how a Symptom Diary can Help Your Personal Injury Case
One thing you may not hear a lot about, but which happens to be a critical part of your case, is that of a symptom diary. This single journal makes a world of difference in a personal injury claim and could be what pushes the evidence in your favor to ensure maximum compensation.
Why a Symptom Diary?
Pain is incredibly overwhelming for anyone. After an accident occurs, you could have pain and catastrophic injuries that come with days or months of suffering. There are so many aspects of discomfort and suffering experienced that there is no way you could recall the pain that you experienced a few days ago.
When it comes to receiving compensation for that pain, you must be able to identify how the pain has affected your life. To do that, you need to assess the changes that occur with your moods, work, home life, eating, sleeping, and overall enjoyment of life. These are items that you can detail in a symptom journey. It helps establish just how much the accident has affected your life, and you can better recall details of how you suffered each day.
The symptom diary is something you will write in at least once per day, but most accident and injury attorneys prefer you write in there every day and every time you have a symptom. The diary is not there to capture personal thoughts. Instead, it is there to focus on your experience of recovery.
A well-written symptom diary can:
- Show the economic losses that came from your accident, including how it has affected your ability to work.
- Highlight the medical costs, including non-hospital and over-the-counter costs you incur.
- Prove the non-economic losses that you have dealt with, including emotional, physical, and mental suffering.
Filling in the Gaps
Your memory will fade. The pain you experience today may not be as presentable a few weeks from now, but you must remember how that felt so that you can receive compensation.
Your diary will help fill in the memory gaps, but it is imperative that you be honest with every detail. Do not try to enhance the pain you are experiencing, because this could be perceived as an act of dishonesty by the courts.
When Do I Start a Symptom Journal?
If you can, you should start one immediately after the accident. Have someone bring a blank journal to you at the hospital (they sell them in hospital gift shops), then start writing down everything that is associated with your recovery and experiences.
It is important that you write down every symptom, all pain, and each cost that you incur.
While a claims adjuster may request to see the journal, you are not required to provide that to him or her. Instead, you can have the adjuster contact your personal injury lawyer to ask for a copy. Then, your injury attorney can provide the adjuster with evidence during the discovery phase of the injury lawsuit, or strategically use that information in negotiations.
Writing an Effective Symptom Journal Requires Legal Assistance
To make sure that you are capturing the right details of your claim, contact Brett McCandlis Brown, PLLC. We help you gather the evidence you need, including using a symptom diary, so that you can better prove your case and get maximum compensation for your injuries.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our Washington accident and injury attorneys now at 800-925-1875 or request more information online.