Your Michigan personal injury lawyer will tell you that a diary of incidents reflecting the pain and suffering resulting from your injury can be a very effective tool in building your case. In Part 1 of “keeping a personal injury diary,” we discussed the diary’s purpose and your responsibility to keep the diary current. Here, we offer some tips about the types of entries you should write.
When writing your diary entries, keep in mind that the purpose of this writing is to accurately document how your injuries—and the pain and discomfort they cause—are preventing you from resuming the life you led before. To that end, you should talk about how you feel when you wake up; how you feel during the day as you try to lead your normal life; how you feel when you go to bed; and if you wake up at all during the night. Also record the emotional effects of your injury, like an inability to enjoy a romantic evening or feelings of uselessness, as well as the effects on your job, your general mood, your relationship, your sex life, and, if applicable, your relationship with your children. Are you missing work because of your injuries? If so, note these days in your diary—the date you missed, why you missed, how you felt, and what the consequences were.
Don’t feel as though you have to constantly be moaning and complaining in your diary; if you have a good day, you should note that. Your goal is to present a realistic picture of your day-to-day experience living with these injuries. Never lie or exaggerate. Your attorney will try to keep your journal confidential, but it may come to light during discovery, and may even be necessary evidence at trial. If you are not truthful, this will be exposed and your credibility will be lost.
When making your diary entries, don’t worry about the quality of your writing. You’re not looking to win a Pulitzer Prize. You just want to detail your feelings honestly, and in your own words. Don’t even think about this as creating evidence for litigation; just record your feelings as if you had suddenly decided to keep a diary for your own use. What would you write about the accident, your surgery, your hospital stay?
When describing your pain and discomfort, use as much detail as you can. Discuss each body part and how it feels; limitations in movement; and how these things impact your daily life and work routines.
In Part 3 of this “keeping a personal injury diary” series, we’ll focus on describing your emotions in your diary. In the meantime, if you have questions or need help getting started, you can contact experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers at Christopher Trainor & Associates by calling 1-800-961-8477 or submitting our online contact form.