If you are considering filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit after a road accident, slip and fall incident or other type of injury accident, it’s in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you. For one, injured victims are more likely to receive a settlement and a higher amount of compensation when they are represented by an attorney. Personal injury lawyers will also handle all negotiations and communications with insurance companies and the at-fault party, leaving you with less stress and worry.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, many of our clients are working with an attorney for the first time and have many questions about the legal process, including attorney-client privilege. They may want to understand what it is and when it applies. In this blog post, we’ll review common questions about attorney-client privilege and how it applies in personal injury cases.
What is Attorney-Client Privilege?
Attorney-client privilege is a rule that ensures anything you say to your attorney -- or an attorney you are meeting with who may potentially represent you -- must be kept confidential. A personal injury lawyer cannot share any secrets or what you’ve disclosed and cannot be forced to by another party. In other words, the opposing side could not compel your lawyer or one you met with to share anything you said through a subpoena or court order. Attorney-client privilege continues once the case is over, if the client changes lawyers, and even upon the death of the client.
When Does Attorney-Client Privilege Start?
As mentioned above, attorney-client privilege in a personal injury case begins the moment you engage with an attorney or their legal team. Even if you do not hire the attorney you meet with, your conversations are kept confidential and cannot be shared with anyone else. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we offer free consultations to discuss your case. Those conversations fall under attorney-client privilege, regardless of your choice to hire us.
What are Examples of Attorney-Client Privilege?
Virtually all types of communication are covered by attorney-client privilege. Emails, phone calls, text messages, and letters cannot be revealed or disclosed to anyone except members of the client’s legal team. The same applies to communications between the client and other members of the legal team, such as paralegals and legal secretaries.
What Is Not Covered by Attorney-Client Privilege?
There are few exceptions to this rule. If a client reveals to their personal injury lawyer an intent to commit a crime, and the attorney believes it may be a possibility, the attorney may be bound to alert authorities about the risk. Another exception to attorney-client privilege is the intent to commit fraud. An attorney may be compelled to inform authorities or break the attorney-client privilege.
Past crimes and past fraud may be ok to share with your personal injury attorney, especially if those instances could be public knowledge. If you’re concerned about attorney-client privilege, it makes sense to clarify confidentiality with your lawyer before disclosing or revealing anything you feel like may not fall within the scope.
Benefits of Attorney-Client Privilege in Personal Injury
Almost everything you communicate with your attorney is considered confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege. When your attorney has a full picture of the circumstances surrounding the accident and other information, he or she can work smarter and better represent your interests. This means that you can feel free to share information that you perceive as potentially harmful or negative with your attorney.
Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
Working with an experienced, top-rated personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case and ease the worry and burden of dealing with the legal and insurance process. When you hire an attorney from Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.