This is a complex issue because of the evidentiary issues that arise from keeping any notes or a diary. You will receive different views on this issue from lawyers who tend to disagree on whether it is a good idea to keep notes and a diary. In some cases, you may be required to provide the opposing lawyer (the insurance company’s lawyer) the notes you kept. The notes, like other evidence, can be used in Court to contradict anything you say orally in Court. For instance to point out that your oral statement in court during examination is different from your notes. In other words, you can be cross-examined on your notes.
As personal injury lawyers, we can assist you in how to keep notes that may be kept confidential under legal doctrines called “litigation privilege” and “solicitor client privilege”. Litigation privilege is a type of immunity given for certain statements taken in connection with the pursuit of litigation. It generally covers such things as retaining expert reports and the privilege may be qualified or absolute. Solicitor client privilege is a common law principle which protects all communications between a lawyer and his or her client from being disclosed to anyone without the permission of the client.
Some tips in keeping notes. Your notes and diary should be prepared on the request of your lawyer. Your diary and notes should be addressed to your lawyer. This will assist in claiming privilege over the notes and diary. Also, your health care providers keep notes arising from visits with you. You should make sure that you let them know that their notes are important because you are involved in a personal injury matter and the notes could be used in Court. You should always tell your health are providers about your injuries, symptoms and how it is affecting your life, so that they can keep notes of what you said and then make comments on what their findings are after meeting with you. For instance, you mention that you are in great pain and the health care provider can complete an assessment which confirms the pain and then document it.