What Attorney-Client Privilege Means for Injury Victims
September 15, 2020
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 $1 billion 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
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I’ve been working at Phillips Law Group for nearly four years and I can confidently say this is the best personal injury firm in Arizona to work for. The firm is the best for numerous reasons but to start, Phillips Law Group gives employees opportunities for promotions and growth. I started working within the settlement department, moved to a paralegal assistant and grew to be a pre-litigation paralegal with my own case load. Each attorney I have worked for is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and easy to talk to. Secondly, I love how Phillips Law shows appreciation for employees. They host Friday Zoom Huddles giving out PTO, goodie bags, special shout outs, bonuses and gift cards. They also host extravagant holiday parties and fun contests during the Holidays! Lastly, the firm cares about giving back to the community, which is a trait I value as well. It’s rewarding to see a fast paced firm taking time out of their busy day to pay it forward. I would highly recommend working at Phillips Law Group!
Working at Phillips Law Group has been a blessing from the beginning for me and I am extremely thankful to work for a firm that values their employees so much. Here I believe we are a huge family of hard working people that can bring a sense of comfort to our client’s lives in times of hardships, stress and chaos. From intake to Settlement we strive to provide the best customer care to all of our wonderful clients. With a 4.8 rating and over 1100+ star reviews on Google no surprise our firm is extremely well known for the quality of work we do!! #teamPLG!!
Thank you Phillips Law Group for all the support and back to school assistance we appreciate it.
Great experience! Took care of pretty much everything, and I always felt like I want in good hands. Caroline Fa. was also a great help with everything. She always returned my calls and I never felt unheard. Even after my case she would still help me with my insurance documents.
I have been with Phillips Law Group for a little over a year and I have learned what teamwork and family in a workplace looks like. There is always someone around to lend a helping hand, which is something I appreciate and cherish. I feel a sense of joy coming to work every day because of my co-workers as well as being able to help people in what can be a scary and stressful situation. I currently work as a Litigation Legal Assistant with an amazing team. When I started here, I was not very knowledgeable in personal injury. I was lucky to have been placed with an amazing team who was willing to take time to teach and pass on some great skills that have been a huge aid in helping me be successful in my position. I would recommend working here at Phillips Law Group, because they care about their employees and there is so much room for growth.
I just wanted to thank Phillips law Group and Vanessa Rodriguez for all the help that she did for my daughter’s case. She was involved in her first accident and she needed the help to deal with these adjusters. Thank you again.
Jasmine Delgado is an amazing paralegal. She was patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend Phillips law group
Two family members were in a bad wreck a couple of years ago, and as a result called Phillips Law to represent them. Montana Thompson was the attorney assigned to the case with the help of Nemo Farr as legal assistant. Mr. Thompson litigated a very generous settlement for both my stepdaughter and her son. Because my grandson is a minor, I decided to act as conservator for him to ensure the settlement was safe and secure. Montana helped with that process, but it was Nemo who went way above and beyond the call in finding a financial institution to use for the restricted account. There were some glitches in that process but Nemo helped navigate them with a calm expertise which belies his age. I would consider them both great representatives of the level of commitment to their clients and assets to their firm.
Kathy Hudson and Donato Giovanatto. Continues to go above and beyond the call of duty. Reaching out to the insurance company about the damage to the vehicle. Forcing them to take responsibility.
It’s an Honor and a Privilege to work for a company that cares about its employees and clients for 12 years. I’ve seen Management go out of their way to help someone whether it’s a personal matter or work related. I am also reminded of many occasions where a Client needed urgent help and we as a Team were able to get the person immediate assistance. At Phillips Law we make that happen through Teamwork and a dedication to our profession. I’ve had numerous jobs in several other fields, those were just jobs. This is a home. Many of us have been here for quite a few years, it feels like one large extended family.