Keeping a symptoms diary is a great way to increase the value of your personal injury case, regardless of how you were injured.
What is a Symptoms Diary?
A symptoms diary is a written record of the symptoms you have experienced as a result of the injuries you have sustained in an accident. It can be recorded daily in a traditional diary, blog, spreadsheet, notebook, or calendar.
Why Keep a Symptoms Diary?
To be fully compensated for the injuries, you must first prove the nature and extent of your injuries and show the impact they’ve had on your life. Your economic damages can be calculated using your medical bills and pay stubs. A symptoms diary will help you detail non-economic damages such pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and other losses that are not easy to quantify.
The better you are at describing your symptoms to the claims adjuster, the opposing counsel or jury, the more successful you will be in obtaining fair compensation for your damages.
A personal injury claim can take months or even years to settle, especially if you need to go to court. Having a written history of the impact your injuries had on your day-to-day life will keep the details fresh and strengthen your case.
What Details Should a Symptoms Diary Include?
You don’t have to use any specific words are phrases when making entries into your symptoms diary. However, there a few guidelines you will want to follow:
1. Be truthful––give an honest assessment of your symptoms, whether you are having a good or a bad day.
2. Be specific––be as detailed as possible when describing your symptoms. The more detailed your description, the more persuasive it will be. For example, don’t simply write “I had a headache”, rather, give a description of the pain you felt and how it affected your day.
3. Ask yourself the following questions:
● How intense is my pain on a scale of 1-10?
● Where is my pain located?
● Was it better or worse as the day went along?
● How did I feel when I got out of bed?
● Did I have difficulty getting up, getting dressed or bathing myself?
● Did my injury keep me in bed? How active was I throughout the day?
● Was I able to go to work? Clean the house? Care for my children? Shop for the household? Cook?
● Do I have trouble falling asleep at night?
● Was I able to sleep through the night?
Contact an Experienced Personal injury attorney
If you have been injured by the negligence of another, you may have grounds to seek compensation for whatever injuries and losses you have suffered as a result. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case and discuss the circumstance. Show your attorney your symptoms diary or ask him for assistance in getting started with one.