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Do NOT Tell the Insurance Adjuster or Doctors about Your Confidential Personal Diary

We think that insurance adjusters and defense attorneys WOULD LOVE to get their hands on your Confidential Personal Diary. Why? Because we KNOW from experience in personal injury trials and from horror stories at trial attorney continuing education seminars that diaries are ALWAYS used AGAINST victims.

Here is an example, let's say that your diary does have mention of a problem in early months, and although that problem persists, for some reason you skipped two months and then made another entry regarding the same problem. This would give the defense an opening to attack your causation. Perhaps there was complete healing and then you suffered another trauma and that injury flared back up. They will use inconsistencies to undermine your presentation of how the injuries impacted your life.

In summary, there is just too much room for error when one is trying to lead a normal life whist healing and treating from traumatic injuries. We do not need to give the enemy a tool to attack us with; instead, you will use your diary as a refresher record to create a complete and accurate demand letter that is based upon the facts as they occurred.

As for doctors, they need not know of your diary, either. What purpose is served by telling them? Many doctors resent the personal injury insurance claims system. Or they do not like to become involved in something that might require a lot of their time in the future (depositions and the like). Hence, one would not want to poison the relationship by letting them know you are keeping a diary.

Some doctors will even insert a "poison pill" into their reports to ensure that the patient's attorney will be less likely to call them as a witness. This poison pill refers to inserting negative information, or something less than positive, into the patient's narrative records so as to cast doubt upon either: (1) the causation issue (is the accident trauma really the sole cause of the patient's problems; or could it be a preexisting condition or just a lot of stress in her life?); or (2) the damages issue (is the injured victim really injured that seriously or is the prognosis good for a quick recovery?).

For more information on how doctors approach the knowledge that their patient is pursuing an insurance claim. Please see Should I talk to my Doctor About my Legal ClaimMembers onlyMembers only.

If one wants to keep the diary out of the hands of the opposition, then we have to consider it "attorney work product". A possible way to do that is to contend from the outset that you are making the diary as an aid to your attorney to be used in litigation. In other words, yes, you might try to settle this first pro se, but you still anticipate the need for an attorney to complete it if your self-help efforts do not produce good results. Hence, you can contend that the diary is, as you confirmed by your initials thereon, created "TO AID MY ATTORNEY IN ANTICIPATION OF LITIGATION."