In the months following a personal injury, particularly when involved in a claim, it can be very beneficial to keep a ‘pain diary’, which keeps track of the pain endured by someone or the limitations on their daily activities.

Obviously, you need to evidence of liability in a personal injury claim, but you’ll also need to prove the extent of your injuries. While some claims are easily provable (when your injuries stop you from being able to work), others are harder to prove (when impediment of daily activities cannot be proven by contacting an employer).

A good way to write a pain diary is to focus on ADLs, or ‘activities of daily living’ – a back injury, for example, may stop you from decorating; a broken arm could make applying makeup difficult, and so on and so forth.

If you don’t know how to go about starting your pain diary, first ask your solicitor  – they will know what is most beneficial to put in it. A simple and helpful guide to structuring your pain diary can also be found here.

Writing a pain diary is hard, particularly in using the right words – you have to find the right balance in how you describe your pain. On the one hand, if you play something down, it can (and probably will) be used against you. On the other hand, if you exaggerate something it may also be used against you.

Also important is the fact that you should be precise and make your notes fully and accurately – don’t abbreviate or shorten your updates. This is seen a lot, particularly when you are writing the same thing in your diary day after day. Less writing or skipped days may be used against you, as evidence that you were getting better.

Finally, it’s important that whatever is in your diary is as indisputable as possible – for this reason you should avoid activity on social media during a personal injury claim. Social media activity can also be used against you in certain cases.Find out more about personal injury claims and contact us when you are ready to take your claim further.

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