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Personal Injury Claim Diary


 
We highly recommend that you maintain a Personal Injury Claim Diary in your personal injury claim process. We have all known injured people who have forgotten so much of what they went through, and the process itself along with life's little struggles and difficulties will cause a person to forget the pain and inconvenience she or he has suffered.
 
In addition, the Confidential Personal Diary format that we provide gives you a convenient way to record your medical care, your costs, your transportation expenses and your miscellaneous expenses. Finally, it provides an accurate record of events that you will be able to report in your personal injury demand letter or use to prepare lay witnesses certified statements.
 
There's a good reason for this diary being called confidential and personal. It's to your advantage to keep it confidential. In particular, do not let any insurance adjuster know that you are keeping a Confidential Personal Diary. When claims go to trial or arbitration, many defense attorneys ask whether you have kept a personal injury claim diary. Savvy insurance adjusters may ask about a diary also. Since there is always the possibility that you forgot to write something down, or you were feeling truly rotten one day and might have exaggerated just the tiniest bit about how you felt, or you might have commented on other people involved in the claim negotiations, it's best that this remain a personal document. That keeps it out of the hands of your adversaries.
 
By using the Confidential Personal Diary as a tool "in anticipation of litigation," as the form we provide is labeled, you are at least arguably protected from having to furnish it to an insurance adjustor or to the tortfeasor's attorney. Because you are keeping the Confidential Personal Diary to furnish your attorney - if you decide you need one - with as full a record as possible of your situation, your attorney might be able to argue that the diary is "work product", to be kept between you and your attorney. Honor that confidentiality by not telling your best friend, you neighbors, etc. of its existence.
 
Do you have to furnish your Confidential Personal Diary to the insurance adjuster if asked? No! The adjuster does not have a right to see your diary unless a formal discovery request is made by the defense attorney in litigation. If you are settling the case on your own, without using an attorney) you have no duty to disclose the existence of the diary to the adjuster. Since he is not entitled to it at this stage of the proceedings, and since you are not presenting the document itself to the insurance adjuster for consideration in valuing your claim, we see no reason to admit its existence to him, even if specifically asked.
 
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