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Should I Take Notes About My Personal Injury Case?

Should I Take Notes About My Personal Injury Case?When you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, such as in a car or truck accident or because of a defective product, you may find yourself jotting down notes – not just of the accident or incident, but also of the injuries you suffered, the damage to your property, and several other key aspects relating to the initial incident.

Taking thorough notes for a personal injury lawsuit can be helpful for several reasons. Your notes can serve as a detailed account of the incident, injuries, and medical treatments, providing important evidence for your case. By documenting events promptly, you can preserve details that might fade from memory over time.

HOWEVER, those causal or extemporaneous notes and diaries are not necessarily covered by attorney-client privilege. They can become part of discovery: the process of two parties exchanging information before a trial begins, to prepare for that trial. If you misremember an event or record your thoughts when you’re feeling angry or frustrated, or include information that you’d rather not share with people – all of that can be requested and reviewed by opposing counsel and be used against you during a settlement negotiation or trial.

How to keep your private notes and thoughts private

Any letters or communications you direct to solely to us, as your attorneys, are protected by the attorney-client privilege. So, one way to take notes and keep them safe is to write them as a letter to your lawyer. You can do this electronically (through email) or by hand; the method of writing doesn’t matter. What does matter is protecting your rights.

The notes you put in that letter can assist our attorneys to prove who is at fault, and will help you and the attorneys give a clear description of your injuries and the pain you endured. We can use these records to help plan your legal strategy, and insurance companies may consider them when determining compensation for your losses.

What should I be talking to my lawyer about?

Dealing with injuries can be complicated, and knowing what information to write down and share with us is important if you’re thinking about taking legal action. From the details of the accident to how it affects your daily life and any money problems you face, taking careful notes is a good idea if you want to strengthen your case when you pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Key aspects of your accident that can help us prepare your case include:

  • The incident. When documenting the incident, be detailed about what happened. Include the date, time, and location. Describe the sequence of events leading up to the accident and injury. Note any contributing factors, parties involved, and if there were any witnesses. Specifics matter, so provide as much information as possible. If you don’t remember everything, that’s okay: just tell us the truth so we can plan accordingly.
  • Your injuries. Detail all of your injuries, regardless of their severity. Note the type of injury, its location on your body, and any immediate symptoms. As time progresses, regularly update us on your healing process, changes in pain levels, and any new developments or complications. After seeking medical attention, include details of your diagnoses and treatment plans. We can seek copies of your medical records if you do not include them in your letters and updates.
  • Damage to property. If the incident involves damage to property, document this thoroughly. Take photographs if possible, capturing the extent of the damage. Describe the damage in writing, noting the items affected, their condition, and the estimated cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Mental health. It’s also important to keep track of your emotional injuries from the accident. Take note of your feelings, thoughts, and any changes in your mental well-being over time. Note specific triggers or events that contribute to emotional challenges and describe how your mental health impacts your daily life. You can also send us names of friends, family, employers, coworkers, or other folks who can speak to how your behavior and cations have changed since the injury.
  • Financial losses. Create a comprehensive record of the financial losses you incurred due to the incident. This includes medical expenses, such as doctor visits, medications, and therapy costs. Keep receipts and bills organized. If you’ve experienced a loss of income due to the injury, document missed workdays and note any communication with your employer about the impact on your earnings.

A note about your medical care

If you seek professional help or counseling, you can tell us about it if you like – but remember that this is privileged information, too. Doctor/patient confidentiality is protected under law until you share that information with us, which is when it becomes discoverable.

It can also be subject to discovery if you post about it online, so we urge you: do not share any aspects of your case on social media. No public posts, no private posts, and no private messages; all of it can be subpoenaed by your insurance company’s lawyers. The same thing is true for text messages and emails.

Anything you write down can become a part of your trial. This is why we say, “Write us a letter.” Communications with your personal injury lawyer are privileged, and that privilege protects you.

At Plattner Verderame PC, we value the significance of your detailed notes; it can help us craft a robust case for your personal injury lawsuit. We just want to make sure that you and your rights are protected throughout the process. If you have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call us or use our contact page today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options. We have offices in Phoenix and Tempe.