Legal and Ethical Obligations Your Injury Lawyer Has to Your Case

injured man shaking woman's handThere are many reasons injury victims may benefit from hiring an attorney to help them seek compensation for their damages. For example, attorneys have legal and ethical obligations that are meant to protect injury victims and help ensure your case is handled in a competent manner.

Below, our experienced attorneys discuss some of these obligations and how they benefit clients. If you were injured in an accident and are considering seeking legal representation, you should review these obligations.

At TSR Injury Law, we are deeply committed to pursuing the justice and compensation injury victims need and managing cases with the utmost professionalism. If you have legal questions or concerns after suffering an injury, our Bloomington personal injury attorneys are ready to help.

Give us a call today to learn more: (612) TSR-TIME.

Providing Competent Representation

Your choice of an attorney is one of the most important decisions to make following an injury caused by another’s negligence. You need an attorney who is capable and can manage your case and defend your best interests.

However, the attorney needs to consider if he or she is capable of competently managing your case. That means the lawyer needs foundational knowledge of how to establish liability and build a strong case. Lawyers can still consult with others at their firm on a case, but they should still be able to manage the case.

Competence is not only about legal knowledge but also resources. Your attorney should have the resources to investigate the accident and gather evidence.

If a lawyer does not have the competence for the case, he or she may have an obligation to seek help from another attorney who is more qualified. If you meet with an attorney who has not managed a case like yours before or mainly works on cases in a different practice area, he or she may be obligated to inform you of that, so you may choose to work with another attorney.

At TSR Injury Law, we take on personal injury cases and have done so for more than 20 years. We have secured well over $1 billion on behalf of our clients.

Acting Ethically

Your lawyer needs to manage your case in an ethical manner. For example, conflicts of interest should be disclosed, and lawyers should not take cases where these conflicts exist. Acting ethically also means being honest and forthcoming with clients about their cases, as well as following the laws pertaining to personal injury cases.  You should be told both good and bad news by your attorney.

Acting in the Best Interests of the Client

Lawyers have an obligation to act in your best interest. For example, if a lawyer thinks you should accept a settlement offer because it provides the compensation you need, the lawyer should tell you that. On the other hand, if a settlement offer is too low, your lawyer should tell you that also. You do not want a lawyer giving settlement advice because they need to pay rent.

If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement after negotiations, your lawyer may discuss taking the case to court. However, your lawyer must explain if he or she thinks going to court would be a good or bad idea. Your lawyer needs to explain what the result of going to court may be or what it is likely to be.

Your lawyer should not urge you to go to court or accept a settlement offer if he or she thinks it is a bad idea. Your lawyer should also not file a lawsuit unless you have agreed to do so, and you agree with your lawyer’s assessment of the case.

Your lawyer’s advice to you should be based on your needs and not the needs of his or her firm.

TSR, like most personal injury law firms, takes cases on contingency. That means we do not charge upfront fees. We are not paid unless our clients get paid. Our interests are aligned with your interests and there is no financial risk in hiring us to represent you.

Honest and Consistent Communication About the Case

Your attorney has an obligation to keep you informed about your case. He or she needs to provide accurate and honest communication about what is happening with your case and answer your questions in a reasonable amount of time. Your lawyer is legally obligated to inform you about settlement offers the insurance company makes.

Honest, consistent communication helps to build trust between the attorney and the client. The client is likely to feel more comfortable reaching out to his or her attorney if the attorney responds quickly. The client will likely have a more positive view of his or her experience if there was good communication in addition to a favorable result in the case.

If there are things you can do to help your lawyer, your lawyer should inform you. There are various questions your lawyer may have about your case and if the answers to those questions would help your lawyer do a better job managing your case, your lawyer should ask you those questions.

Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorneys are legally required to keep conversations about your case confidential. This is part of attorney-client privilege. This applies to conversations and communications about the case that fit certain criteria.

Attorney-client privilege helps to encourage open and honest communication between attorneys and clients. This can benefit your case because your attorney will be well-informed about your situation, and this helps when preparing a strategy.

TSR Injury Law is Ready to Help. Call Today

For decades, our firm has been helping injury victims obtain compensation for damages. We have obtained millions on behalf of our clients in various cases.

We work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees for our services and the initial consultation is free. We do not get paid unless you get paid.

TSR is here to help injured victims. Contact us: (612) TSR-TIME.

How Does Attorney-Client Privilege Benefit Injury Victims?

folder with confidential informationProtecting 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