Personal Injury Log
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or through a slip-and-fall, it’s critical that you start a detailed diary about your injury. Personal injury claims can take years to work through the legal system. By the time your lawyer is in final negotiations, you won’t be able to remember how much pain you were in at various points after the accident.
Start with a log of your physical pain. Rate your pain on a scale of one to ten. Write down the time and date you experienced physical pain. This will help your lawyer prove the extent of your on-going pain and suffering. These numbers will be translated into dollars for the court case or settlement.
Write down your lost wages. You will need to establish a base period of pay to show the lost wages. First, put a copy of your most recent tax records in a folder. Then, add as many current-year pay stubs (prior to the accident) as you can. Lawyers and judges want to see hard evidence.
Keep track of any out-of-pocket expenses. Medical co-pays, over-the-counter medications, and miles you drive for medical appointments should all be paid back to you as part of your case. The more details you can provide, the more money your lawyer can fight to get on your behalf. If the amounts seem small now, keep in mind your lawyer will fight for a settlement that includes current and future costs. If you multiply your out-of-pocket expenses by ten years, you will see a large amount of money due to you.
Find one spot where you can keep these records — and nothing else. An empty drawer or unused backpack is a good choice for storing papers. If you are like most people in pain, you won’t have the energy to organize these documents in a perfect way every day. Keep the receipts and the log books in one spot and organize everything when you have the energy.
You and your lawyer will appreciate it when you deposit the settlement check.