When someone suffers a catastrophic injury, it can be life-changing. Suddenly faced with financial hardship due to mounting medical bills and an inability to work can cause a great deal of stress. On top of that, the victim may be dealing with physical and emotional injuries that take a toll daily. There may be legal options available when a catastrophic injury was caused by another person’s negligence.
It requires proof to establish the impact a catastrophic injury has had on one’s ability to:
- engage in social activities;
- perform routine tasks; and
- just enjoy life.
In addition, one must collect medical receipts and records plus keep a pain or injury journal.
How a Pain and Injury Journal Can Help
One of the common physical problems that can accompany a catastrophic injury is chronic pain. Even someone who has suffered damage to the spinal cord and is now partially paralyzed can experience pain.
Keeping a pain and injury journal is important when seeking compensation through an injury claim. That’s because your damages should not only include actual costs incurred but other losses, such as pain and suffering.
These types of damages don’t have a specific price tag attached to them but have worth nonetheless. Therefore, the injured person must establish the impact chronic pain is having on his/her life.
It’s not enough for someone to say, “I’m always in pain.” That’s too general. A pain journal can help keep track of when pain tends to be more severe (such as the time of day), or when certain activities exacerbate it.
Rating the pain on a scale from zero to ten can help show the severity. But it’s also a good idea to use descriptive words, such as tingling, sharp, burning or pulsating. The more detailed the pain diary is, the more credible one’s claims of it will be.
It’s also a good idea to include in an injury journal the therapies or treatments used to help relieve pain, as well as their effectiveness at doing so. This could help establish the necessity of ongoing physical therapy or a prescription medication.
Other Relevant Information to Keep in a Journal
Catastrophic injuries oftentimes result in long-term (or even a lifetime) of physical and/or emotional challenges:
- organ damage; and
Therefore, it helps to keep any information pertinent to the case in a diary or journal. The diary or journal could contain a list of doctor appointments and treatment received. Also note any conversations with the insurance company, including who you talked to, the date, and what you discussed.
Along with keeping track of pain and other injury-related items, it’s a good idea to write down everything that happened to cause the accident. When a motor vehicle accident is the cause of these injuries, it’s imperative to note these details in order to help establish that another driver caused it. This may include what happened before, during and after the crash.
Using Medical Notes to Establish Damages
In addition to keeping track of one’s own pain and injuries, also be sure to collect proper medical records and notes. These could be invaluable to an injury case. These can also help establish the severity of one’s injuries and the extent to which they are impacting someone’s life.
Notes could come from a treating physician, surgeon, psychotherapist, neurologist, or other healthcare providers involved in a person’s medical care. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, include observations made of the patient and offer other helpful information that can substantiate not only medical costs but other damages such as mental anguish, permanent disability, disfigurement and more.
Need help gathering evidence or presenting your case? Contact Jason R. Schultz
Attorney Jason R. Schultz helps victims in Atlanta pursue compensation for their injuries. Call 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation to discuss the details of your case, including the types of evidence you’ll need to establish fault and the value of your damages.