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Importance of Keeping a Pain Journal after an Accident

Injuries after an accident can be excruciating, long-lasting, and develop over time. The injured party should be able to describe every aspect of their injuries over time to help their case best. While hiring an attorney will help immensely, the legal processes after an accident can still be long and extensive. Many insurance companies will downplay your injuries and nullify your claims to keep from paying damages. This can drag out the case for too long, making it harder to remember the facts of your case as time goes on. Because of this, personal injury attorneys recommend having a “pain journal.”

Why Should I Have a Pain Journal?

Keeping a pain journal is essential in any legal case to help you keep track of important details of the accident. "The purpose of a pain journal is to document everything related to an accident, including symptoms, pain, and recovery process. Moreover, a pain journal helps you accurately recall and report specific details of the accident, which can significantly help discern the facts from fiction in your case.

Tips for Writing a Pain Journal

We have compiled these pain journal writing tips below to make this process easy and valuable for your future case.

  • Start with a Checklist

Before writing, you should create a checklist of what your pain journal will cover. You want to include your pain locations and levels on a scale of one to ten, recent diagnosis, and pain type. Starting with a checklist can ensure your journal will address everything it needs each time you write an entry.

  • Write as Often as Possible

We recommend updating your journal daily, filling in your pain level and progress. Start this process on the day of the accident. Include details of your medical treatment and new sensations. You also want to have questions for your doctor and noticeable limitations caused by accident. Anything you can write down is helpful for your case.

  • Do Not Exaggerate

Keeping a pain journal is legal, and the court may instruct you to tender it during the proceedings. Ensure you are honest in your entries; do not exaggerate your symptoms, nor should you lie about them. If the court discovers you lied in any part of the journal, it could hurt your case.

  • Use Legal and Medical Terms

The more accurate the terms you use in your journal concerning your pain and pain level, the better. Using legal and medical terms will improve the quality of your pain journal. You can ask your doctor or attorney for help if you need clarification on those terms.

  • Remember to Include Your Emotions

Accidents affect victims physically, emotionally, and psychologically. A pain journal is not just for physical injuries. Document any emotional injuries such as newfound mood swings, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other emotional damages you suffered. You can also talk about how your day-to-day life has been affected by your injuries. This can include financial situations that you are facing because of your injuries or other ways your life has been negatively affected each day.


A life-changing accident can make you forget everyday details, which is normal. You can remember what happened by documenting every minor and major detail about your case in your pain journal. As such, you can have a streamlined legal process to get the compensation you deserve.

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