Paramedic placing cervical collar to injured man after car accident

Documenting Details of Your Injuries and Pain

Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. Feb. 3, 2023

There’s no way to always protect ourselves or the ones we love from getting hurt. Unfortunately, injuries like those sustained from a traffic collision can have lasting effects not only physically but also financially. According to data from the state’s Department of Transportation, there were over 14,000 people injured in 2020 on Nebraska’s roadways. It’s essential to understand why documenting your injuries after a wreck is so important to getting the compensation you deserve from an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.  

For help with this and to speak with a personal injury attorney, reach out to us at Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., serving those in Omaha, Nebraska, and the surrounding counties, including Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, and Lancaster. 

Why It’s Important to Document Injuries and Pain  

Many people underestimate the amount of evidence they’ll need to include as part of the claims process, and documentation starts from day one. After you’ve been in a vehicle collision, the most important thing to do is ensure your medical needs are addressed. In most cases, this means visiting a doctor, even if you believe your injuries are minor. It’s very common for car crash injuries to show up days or even weeks after the incident, and only a trained medical professional can properly assess you. This starts a clear paper trail and indicates you’re taking your injuries seriously.  

After this, you must comply with all your doctor’s recommendations including follow-up care, medications, or physical therapy. During this time, consider keeping a journal outlining how your injuries and pain are affecting your life. Your personal injury attorney can then use this information and doctor’s reports to negotiate on your behalf and predict future costs related to your injuries. This last component is crucial since you may be agreeing to a settlement before you’re fully done healing.   

Information You Should Include 

Following your auto collision, you’ll be responsible for collecting data. So, what should you include in injury/pain documentation? In your journal, log all your medical expenses, including medical bills, transportation costs to get to and from appointments, and any medical supplies. 

Also, write down the ways your injury affects your everyday life, such as activities you’re no longer able to do, work you can no longer perform, your level of pain and how you cope with it, missed events, and your emotional state of mind. Include dates and times whenever possible and be as exact as you can with your wording. 

Including Mental Trauma in Your Documentation  

Equally as important as including information about physical injuries is documenting mental trauma after a collision. This can be harder to put into words and may seem unimportant compared with other bodily injuries, but you deserve compensation for this as well.  

Write down details about the level of stress and anxiety you feel on any given day and how this is related to your injury. For example, if you’re responsible for caring for young children and your injury has left you temporarily incapacitated, everyday activities like getting kids to school, preparing lunch and dinner, or even bathing them can bring an incredible amount of stress and anxiety.  

Or, if your injury has caused you to miss a lot of work, you may be concerned about household bills that are piling up or are worried you may not be offered the same position at work when you finally do recover. Include in your journal any feelings and emotions that are atypical for you and are likely linked to your injury. This could include confusion, difficulty concentrating, depression, mood swings, or thoughts of suicide.   

Speak With an Experienced Attorney  

If you’re in the Omaha, Nebraska, area and have recently sustained injuries due to another driver violating the safety rules of the road, call us at Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. Here, you can speak with a qualified attorney who can answer all your questions and help you better understand your options during this difficult time.