Brennan Law Firm, P.C. – Specializing in FELA Law

Using a Daily Diary

A daily diary will help you recall important facts when you need them the most!

A daily diary can be nothing more than a legal pad or notebook. It can be filled out in your own hand and does not have to be fancy. You should fill it out while having your morning coffee or at night before you go to bed while everything is fresh in your mind. The diary will depict the amount of pain you suffer, the attitude of your company during your recovery, the amount of medication you are required to use, the way your injury influences your daily activities, and the way your financial situation may be affected due to your loss of income. You may obviously enter anything you feel is important or relevant to your situation. For instance; if you talk to a fellow employee and he or she tells you they heard something at work, write down what they heard and who told them, where they were, and the time aand date when it occurred.


Saturday, June 25, 20__ (65 degrees and rainy)

Woke up early because of pain and was unable to return to bed. Took some (name of medication – list both prescription and/or non-prescription drugs), and watched TV for a while. The day was uncomfortable due to continued pain. I was unable to go shopping, because walking was very painful. Put ice on my leg because of swelling and it seemed to help some. Talked on the phone to (Name) about vacation pay I have not received, was told it would be taken care of by Tuesday, (date). Credit Card company called because I’m behind on my payment, I explained my situation and that I would pay as soon as possible. Received an unpaid bill from a medical provider (name and date.)

So many things happen when a railroad worker is injured on the job, and it is difficult at best to remember every detail from day to day. Dates, times, comments, and names all become a blur in time. The diary will give you a place to look when you need to remind someone of what they told you on a certain date, or how you told them you would handle a certain situation.

The diary creates a paper trail that can be used in court to corroborate the complaints and facts of your case, but in order to be useful the diary must be kept on a daily basis, much like a truckers log. After doing it for a while it will become second nature and will take very little of your time. Some days may find you feeling well and having fun with your family, while other days may find you having difficulty dealing with certain asspects of your recovery. The diary is not a place to write only the bad things, but the good things as well. You should always date the entry and describe the weather conditions of the day in question before entering your remarks.

In many cases an FELA claim may determine someone’s future. Failure to keep accurate records during your recovery from an on-the-job injury can be very devastating. The lack of corroborating evidence to support your claim is a common weakness and it can change your whole case. For lawyers who negotiate claims and never plan to go to court, daily diaries are not very important. At The Brennan Law Firm, it is yet another ingredient needed to make a successful case for our clients. Ed, Ryan, and Susan Brennan, prepare each claim for trial and they depend on their clients for much of the information needed to bring a case to a successful conclusion. Without the flow of information and daily history of the recovery process it is very difficult to accurately document all the damage elements that must be considered in every claim.