A pain journal can be extremely instrumental in a personal injury claim, it can be used:
- as evidence to document your injuries;
- to track the extent and progress of the injuries; and
- to demonstrate their impact on your life to the courts.
When using your journal, keep in mind that the more detailed you can be, the better. Always include the date and time with each entry, and be as honest and accurate as possible. There are four key elements you’ll want to make sure to include in your pain diary, each discussed below.
#1: Pain Scale Rating
The first thing you’ll want to record with each entry is your perceived level of pain. It’s a good idea to record your pain level several times a day. Pain scales are a good way to monitor and evaluate pain. Rate your pain on a level of zero to 10, with zero being no pain whatsoever, and 10 being excruciating.
Because a pain scale is subjective, you’ll also want to write a few words to describe the type and nature of the pain. How does it hurt? Dull? Achy? Sharp? Does it come in waves? Just a few key words will suffice.
#2: Medication Information
Your medications and other treatments are a key component of your pain journal. Recording how they affect you will provide you and your doctor with valuable information as to what works and doesn’t work for your condition. It can also establish the types of treatment you’re using.
Some of the medication and treatment information you’ll want to record in your personal injury journal include:
- what medications you took;
- how much relief they provided;
- any side effects you experienced;
- how long the relief lasted; and
- any other treatments that you tried and how they affected your pain.
#3: How Pain Affected Your Daily Activities
Recording how the pain affected your daily life can prove to be an important part of a personal injury claim. If your injuries had a huge, adverse effect on your daily life, you might be able to pursue compensation for your emotional pain and suffering. The injury journal will help document and demonstrate this to the courts.
When writing your diary entries, consider ways the pain has affected your daily living:
- Has it limited your activity?
- Has it made certain activities unbearable or unenjoyable?
- Has it affected your sleep or eating habits?
- Are you unable to continue your normal recreation and hobbies?
- Did it reduce your ability to walk or work?
- Did it affect your relationships?
#4: What Improves the Pain
Lastly, you’ll want to record anything and everything you did that improves the pain. For example, is the pain better when you sit or when you stand? Did a warm shower improve your pain?
Perhaps your acupuncture or therapeutic massage session provided some relief. If you notice a little improvement with dietary changes, you’ll want to record that in your pain journal, as well. Being proactive and keen to what works and doesn’t work for you will help you on your road to recovery, and can also help demonstrate the effects your recovery has had on your life.
Sharing Your Pain Diary with Your Personal Injury Lawyer
Make sure to share your journal with your personal injury lawyer so the information can be used to better demonstrate your case. If you need to speak with a legal professional, contact Aurora injury attorney D.J. Banovitz today for a free consultation at 303-300-5060.