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Keeping a "Pain Journal"

After you have been injured in an accident, your attorney may tell you that it is a good idea to write down a diary or journal documenting your pain from the accident. This is, in general, a good idea, as it allows you to better remember exactly when you started feeling better, what activities exacerbate your injury and overall how much compensation you may be due after the accident. One major problem with a pain journal is that, too often, people do not keep a consistent record of their injuries. Like many other tasks, after the first week or two it can get pushed to the side and added to the list of things to do "tomorrow."

This can greatly hurt your case for compensation because your journal may be used as evidence against you. When you stop writing things down, this gives the opposing counsel an opportunity to claim that you clearly aren't as injured as you say, and that if you were, you would have kept writing in the journal. So what is the moral of the story? If you keep a pain diary, make sure to write in it consistently until the end of your case. If you are unsure of whether or not you can do this, it is best to avoid the journal altogether. It may be helpful to set an alarm on your computer, to do it at the same time every day, or to ask someone to remind you to write down how you feel.

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