How Does Attorney-Client Privilege Benefit Injury Victims?
Protecting one’s privacy is a growing concern in our society. It is important to be cautious about any information you reveal because you never know how it may be used against you later. Fortunately, injury victims who hire an attorney are protected by attorney-client privilege.
You may have heard that term before, but do you know what it means in practice? How does attorney-client privilege protect you and your claim?
Below, the experienced attorneys at TSR Injury Law discuss how attorney-client privilege benefits you as you pursue compensation after a personal injury. If you have any questions about your claim, you can contact our firm to schedule a free initial consultation. The things you discuss in a free consultation are kept confidential, which means there is no risk to you.
Defining Attorney-Client Privilege
When you seek legal advice from a Bloomington personal injury attorney, your discussion is protected by attorney-client privilege and cannot be shared with someone else without your written consent. There are some exceptions to this, but this is generally what attorney-client privilege means in practice.
Conversations and other communications (emails, phone calls, letters, etc.) with your attorney are protected if they satisfy four criteria:
- There is an attorney-client relationship between you and your lawyer
- Your lawyer was acting in his or her professional capacity when communicating with you
- The purpose of you talking to your lawyer was to obtain legal advice
- You had an expectation this conversation would be kept confidential
Benefits of Attorney-Client Privilege
This provides obvious benefits to injury victims. You can discuss any aspect of your claim with your attorney and it will be kept confidential. This frees people up to be open and upfront about the many details involved in an injury claim.
For example, you can discuss a preexisting injury and find out how it may impact your claim. It is understandable to be concerned about a preexisting medical issue (this is the kind of thing insurance companies try to use against injury victims), but this will be kept between you and your attorney.
By letting your attorney know, he or she will be prepared to deal with this issue when it arises, and it likely will. If you wait or try to hide this issue, it will be more difficult for your attorney to deal with it and preserve the value of your claim. You can feel free to discuss this issue with your attorney because it is protected by attorney-client privilege.
Attorney-client privilege also benefits injury victims during the discovery process. Knowing conversations are confidential helps make people more comfortable sharing a lot of information about the case. This may help the attorney build a strong case.
When Might Attorney-Client Privilege Not Apply?
Lawyers are prohibited from discussing things that were covered by attorney-client privilege and courts do not have the authority to force attorneys to discuss those things. Generally, attorney-client privilege cannot be waived unless the client does so. That said, if you tell your lawyer you are planning to commit a crime, he or she is required to report it.
You should also know the things you post to social media are not strictly between you and your lawyer. They are not covered by attorney-client privilege. That is why your lawyer may ask you to limit what you post on social media as it could be used against you. If you send emails to your lawyer, make sure to do it from your own personal account. If you send an email from your work email address it may not be protected by attorney-client privilege.
It is important to remember only private conversations are covered by attorney-client privilege. If you talk to your lawyer with someone else in the room, attorney-client privilege may not apply. If you have any questions about this, it is important to ask your lawyer. At TSR Injury Law, we understand your privacy concerns and are committed to maintaining confidentiality.
Learn How Our Firm Can Help You. Call Today
We have helped many car crash victims in Minnesota obtain compensation for their damages. We are experienced negotiators who are also prepared to go to court if the insurance company does not offer fair compensation.
We are here to help you and answer your questions. The initial consultation is free, and it comes with no requirement to hire our firm. If we validate your claim, and you choose to hire us, there will be no upfront fees. We will not be paid unless you get paid.
Have questions? Call today to schedule your free consultation (612) TSR-TIME