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Why Keeping A Pain Diary Is Key To Obtaining Workers' Comp Benefits
Contact best workers' compensation lawyers in California from the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach to speak about your particular case. Call our offices at 818-609-7005 or fill out this contact form today.
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Why Keeping A Pain Diary Is Key To Obtaining Workers’ Comp Benefits
24 Aug 2018 | William J. Kropach | Workers' Compensation

After you have been injured in the workplace, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits will not be as easy as you think. In the process of filing a workers’ comp claim, you will have to prove that the extent of your injury or illness and the way it affects your work-related activities qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

One way to prove it is to keep a pain diary, in which you will record the severity of pain, provide descriptions of symptoms, and describe how the pain and on-the-job injury affects your life and work, among other things.

While it is your primary treating physician’s job to diagnose you, only you can truly describe your pain and suffering caused by the workplace injury or illness. “After you have made a work-related accident report, start a pain diary and add to it every day or even every hour, if there is a lot of relevant information about your pain and symptoms,” advises our Los Angeles workers compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach.

A pain diary does not necessarily have to be an old-fashioned journal or a spiral-bound notebook. It may be more convenient to keep a pain diary in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or an audio recording. Whatever works for you best, use it.

What to write in a pain diary?

Now that you have your laptop or a notebook and a pen handy, you are probably wondering, “What information should I include in the pain diary?” That is a good question.  

Your pain journal should include the following information (this type of information is easily forgotten if you do not write it down, and yet it is critical info that can add substantial value to your workers’ comp claim):

  • Pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 (use the rating by the hour or every day and do not forget to mention how various activities affect your pain);
  • An accurate description of your pain or discomfort;
  • Medications and drugs you have taken, and whether or not you notice any difference after administering them (side effects or their effect on pain, etc.);
  • Any medical procedures you have undergone and how effective you feel them be;
  • Any changes in terms of symptoms and the severity of pain throughout the day/week;
  • How the pain, discomfort, and injuries affect various activities in your life;
  • The effect of pain and injuries on your psychological and mental health and/or your relationships;
  • Any relevant notes from medical professionals.

Keep these records in addition to the pain journal

Besides a pain diary, you will also have to keep the following documents and records:

  • The workers’ compensation claim itself;
  • Medical bills;
  • Pay stubs and checks;
  • A copy of your work-related accident report;
  • Any emails and letters from your employer and/or his/her insurance company;
  • Contact information for witnesses;
  • Any notes and documents provided by your doctor.

Our Los Angeles workers compensation attorney says that it is paramount that you fill out all of the information, including but not limited to the work-related accident report and pain journal, accurately and truthfully. Be consistent in your statements and do not exaggerate the severity of your pain and injuries.

After all, you will be up against some of the best workers’ compensation lawyers in California representing your lawyer. So you might want to lawyer up, too. And whatever happens, do NOT give a recorded statement to your employer and/or his or her insurer without consulting with your attorney first.

Contact the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach to speak about your particular case. Call our offices at 818-609-7005 or fill out this contact form today.

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