Advantages of Attorney-Client Privilege for Personal Injury Victims
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Sep 15, 2020 in Personal Injury
Some personal injury victims are unsure about contacting an attorney. However, there are two things that may convince them to contact a lawyer – it is free and confidential.
What does free mean? First, the initial consultation with a Phillips Law Group attorney is free. Second, there are no upfront fees while your lawyer works on your case. Your lawyer does not get paid unless you get paid.
But what does confidential mean? Below, learn more about attorney-client privilege and how it benefits injury victims.
Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers are here to help you after an injury caused by another’s negligence. We have recovered more than $750 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
What Attorney-Client Privilege Means and When it Applies
This is a rule of evidence that prohibits attorneys from revealing what a client tells them. You also have the privilege of refusing to reveal information that is privileged.
This rule only applies if the communication in question fits four criteria:
- Communication was between the client and his or her lawyer
- The lawyer was acting in his or her professional capacity
- The goal of this communication was legal advice
- The client expects that communication to remain confidential
For the most part, lawyers cannot reveal communications covered by attorney-client privilege. Courts cannot compel the lawyer to reveal what was said in confidence. As the client, you have the right to waive that privilege, although there are some exceptions that may void attorney-client privilege. For example, if you tell a lawyer about crimes you are planning to commit, the lawyer can violate attorney-client privilege.
Things you discuss on social media are also not protected by attorney-client privilege. These communications are not exclusively between you and your attorney. Sending emails to your attorney from your work email account is a bad idea as well – these are not protected by attorney-client privilege.
Communications include in-person communication but also phone calls, electronic communications and letters. The communication must be made privately – talking over lunch in a public place would not be covered by attorney-client privilege.
How Attorney-Client Privilege Benefits You
If you are unsure if you have a case, you can discuss it with a lawyer and this conversation is confidential. If the insurance company had access to these communications, it would look for some way to discredit you or devalue your claim.
There are a variety of sensitive topics that are protected by this privilege. For example, you may be nervous about revealing a preexisting condition. However, your attorney cannot discuss this with anyone else.
While the presence of a preexisting illness will come to light in an injury claim, you can discuss it with your lawyer before it does. That way your lawyer will be prepared and can work to protect the fair value of your claim.
Your attorney is working to serve your best interests, unlike the insurance company. Anything you discuss with the insurance company could potentially be used against you. The insurance company is looking to pay out the least possible amount of compensation for your damages.
Attorney-client privilege is particularly important during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit. This privilege helps to make injury victims feel more comfortable sharing important details with their attorney.
However, it is important to be upfront with your attorney about information that may be relevant to your case. That gives your lawyer a better chance of providing strong representation. If you withhold information and it comes to light later, your attorney may have a much harder time managing your case.
Phillips Law Group’s contingency fee system and attorney-client privilege mean there is no risk in talking to us about what happened and what your legal options might be.
Call to Schedule Your Free and Confidential Consultation
Everything you discuss in a free consultation with one of our licensed attorneys will be kept strictly confidential. You are under no obligation to hire our firm if we find you have a valid case.
What does this mean for you? It means there is no risk in contacting us to find out if we can help. We have taken on a wide variety of cases over nearly 30 years of practice and have a proven track record of success.
Our Phoenix office is located at 3101 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. This is just a few minutes from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
We are here to help. Call today to learn more. Phone: 1-800-706-3000