Can a Diary Help Car Accident Victims with Cases?

Car accident

Car accidents can upend lives, and the split-second of collision can take weeks or months to unravel. Time in the hospital can slow the process, especially if there are any major personal injuries or concussions. If multiple vehicles are involved, information can be forgotten or withheld. The longer cases drag on, the more bills pile up and the more insurance companies can lop off payouts.

It is the responsibility of the victim to collect and maintain the facts of the accident. Keeping all that information in one’s head can be very difficult. Tracking down witnesses and police officers is not easy. Many recommend keeping a diary to track leads, notate doctor’s appointments and meetings, and try to document as much as possible.

What are the Advantages of Keeping a Diary?

Maintaining a diary allows an accident victim to best chronicle the effects of the crash. Logging day-to-day changes in conditions, any flare-ups or prolonged injuries, progress or regression, along with doctor’s visits can detail the extent of physical damage. For legal purposes, it creates documentation that should be admissible to court, either to support outside expert testimony or to refute defense claims. It can also track the visits with doctors, lawyers, and claim adjustors, keeping victims in control of the narrative, along with notating mileage traveled and hours spent that may have affected work and caused lost wages. Keeping good records will keep insurance companies honest in their offers and probably allow for more payout to cover all reimbursable costs.

In the digital age, it may be best to keep the diary electronically on a single word-processing document. Although cell phones are very useful, writing out consistent updates on a laptop or desktop is best. This allows for more reflective entries, along with being able to reference emails or texts on a phone, along with calendar appointments and any data available from fitness apps or other smart devices. Sitting down to journal entries also allows for more detail and specific analyses of injuries and conditions. Detail is very key, especially when comparing physical capabilities to before the accident. Victims should notate if normal activities become more difficult or cannot be done as long; or any new or increased limitations at work or at home, such as not being able to lift as much or sit in one spot as long to perform a task.

It is important to notate if any professional or personal events are missed because of injuries. Being as factual and forthright with these diaries makes a difference to judges and juries. Victims should make sure anything they tell a doctor or nurse in appointments or at the hospital gets recorded. Using a one to 10 pain scale can help document aches getting better or worse, along with the frequency and duration of pain. It is important to detail all conversations with police officers, other drivers, eyewitnesses, insurance adjustors, and other involved persons. Diaries are good ways to keep track of changing insurance offers as well.

Although diaries can help victims and lawyers keep track of facts and changing conditions, they do not need to be submitted as evidence in trials or depositions. Jurisdictions may consider the records differently, but they do not need to be fully disclosed. Even if conditions improve and the entries become less frequent, consistently notating changes and pertinent information will help keep lawyers informed and likely lead to a better result, be it verdict or settlement.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Will Help Your Car Accident Case

Even with a well-kept diary, there is a lot to handle in a car accident claim. Having a trusted partner can make a major difference. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King will advocate and assist, working to get the most compensation you deserve. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.