How Does Attorney-Client Privilege Benefit Personal Injury Victims?

confidential file folderInjury victims need to be cautious about sharing information about their accident. Saying too much to the insurance company or on social media could do serious harm to a claim for compensation.

However, you do not need to be cautious about what you say to your attorney. Conversations with your attorney about your accident claim are covered by attorney-client privilege. This privilege is one of the benefits of seeking help from an attorney after getting injured in an accident caused by negligence.

While many people have heard of attorney-client privilege, they may not know what is covered by this privilege. Our experienced attorneys discuss this legal concept in detail, and why it benefits victims.

If you were injured by another’s negligence, we are ready to help you seek compensation for the full value of your damages. Our Lafayette-based personal injury attorneys take injury cases at no upfront cost – there are no costs before we take your case and no costs while we pursue compensation.

What Does Attorney-Client Privilege Mean?

The principle of attorney-client privilege is at the foundation of the legal profession.

While there are various aspects to this principle, it can be explained simply. If you meet with an attorney to talk about a potential legal claim, or you meet with an attorney you have already hired to discuss your claim, these conversations must remain confidential. If an attorney were to break confidentiality, he or she could face serious penalties, which may include being disbarred.

You might not hire an attorney you meet with, but your conversations about your case are still confidential. You do not have to hire an attorney to have attorney-client privilege.

It is worth noting attorney-client privilege only applies if the client has a reasonable expectation of privacy. If you talk to your attorney about your case in a public place, there is likely no reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you talk to your lawyer about something besides your case, attorney-client privilege does not apply. In these conversations, your lawyer is not acting in his or her professional capacity because he or she is not providing legal advice.

While attorney-client privilege applies to face-to-face conversations, it can also apply to other forms of communication, such as:

  • E-mail
  • Phone calls
  • Handwritten notes/letters
  • Voicemail messages
  • Text messages

How Confidentiality Benefits Accident Victims

The purpose of attorney-client privilege is to encourage clients to feel comfortable sharing information with their attorneys. Since these conversations are confidential, clients do not have to worry about the insurance company or at-fault party finding out and using clients’ statements against them.

By openly sharing as much information as possible with your attorney, you are helping him or her to build a strong case. You are also helping to prevent surprises that your attorney is unprepared for, such as preexisting injuries, statements you made to the insurance company, missed doctor’s appointments, and more.

If you conceal things from your attorney, it could come back to haunt you. Insurance companies are likely to find out about a preexisting condition. They could use your preexisting condition as a pretense to deny your claim, or at the very least make a lowball settlement offer.

There is no reason to keep things from your attorney because conversations about your case are confidential. At Galloway Jefcoat, we are on your side, as our goal is the same as yours: securing full compensation for your damages.

If there are issues you are concerned about, such as a preexisting condition, we are here to discuss how these issues may impact your claim. We can also explain how you can help protect the value of your claim, such as by explaining to your doctor how your existing injury has been aggravated by the car crash.

You may have concerns about treatment your doctor is recommending, as far as how decisions about your treatment may impact your claim. Your attorney can explain how decisions about your treatment may impact your claim.

You should not underestimate the importance of having an experienced advocate to discuss your case with. The insurance company is working against you, so there really is not anyone else who can provide trusted advice about your case.

Can Attorney-Client Privilege be Waived?

Yes, clients have the authority to waive attorney-client privilege.

An attorney may be forced to break attorney-client privilege if his or her client talks about any intent to break the law. For example, if a client tells his or her lawyer that the accident claim was filed for a fraudulent pretext.

Attorney-client privilege may also need to be breached if the victim dies and conversations between the victim and his or her attorney are relevant to legal claims filed by survivors of the deceased. However, conversations between the deceased and the attorney are unlikely to be shared with the insurance company. These conversations would become confidential between survivors and the deceased’s attorney.

Give Galloway Jefcoat a Call to Discuss Your Claim

We are ready to help you seek compensation to help you move forward after an unexpected injury. We work on contingency, which means we do not charge upfront fees. The initial consultation with a licensed attorney is also free of charge.

Experienced Attorneys. Millions Recovered. Call (337) 984-8020.