Attorney-Client Privilege Explained
When you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you should understand your rights under the law. Legal blogs and articles can provide basic information, but the best way to get proper legal advice is by discussing your situation with a competent personal injury attorney. While initial consultations are often offered free of charge, some individuals may feel uncomfortable speaking to a stranger about the details of their case. But understanding attorney-client privilege should put your mind at ease.
During a free consultation, everything you say and reveal to your attorney is confidential under attorney-client privilege, which allows you to seek representation for your legal needs without fearing sensitive information leaking to the public.
Attorney-Client Privilege Explained
Attorney-client privilege is a legal principle that ensures any information shared between clients and lawyers is kept confidential, even from judges, police, and other government officials. In order to best represent you in court, attorneys need to know everything surrounding the case, and attorney-client privilege allows you to be completely transparent without fear.
However, it is vital to note that privilege does not apply to every conversation with a lawyer. For instance, if you casually speak to a lawyer at the neighborhood barbeque or office party, this protection is not in place since it is out and open to the public.
Attorney-client privilege only applies when discussing legal options or details of a case with an attorney who:
- intends to represent you
- is currently representing you; or
- speaks to you at an initial consultation
Attorney-client privilege is a fundamental underpinning of our legal system, and you rarely have to worry about loopholes or technicalities regarding confidentially. If you discuss your case with a prospective attorney in a professional setting, you can trust that they will keep your information confidential.
This privilege applies no matter how you communicate – phone, email, or face-to-face meetings.
Limitations of Attorney-Client Privilege
For most people, everything they share will be covered under privilege unless they waive their right to confidentiality. There are exceptions, however. Your attorney may be required by law to inform authorities if:
- You discuss your intentions to commit an imminent crime or act of fraud
- You indicate to your attorney you intend to harm someone
Furthermore, extenuating circumstances may require the release of information regarding an attorney’s representation – such as if you dispute how they acted in private. To prove their innocence or settle disputes, they may have to disclose certain information related to your communications.
In situations involving personal injury lawsuits such as car accidents, there are almost no circumstances that would require disclosure of private information – unless the information is needed as evidence in your trial. Any personal information that your attorney uses to negotiate with insurance companies remains private if communicated properly through private channels.
By law, attorneys are not allowed to make false statements or mislead the court knowingly, so you must be as truthful as possible with the questions they ask you. Creating solid legal arguments and representation are only possible when the client and attorney trust each other, and this starts with a successful first meeting and consultation.
Speak with a Professional Personal Injury Attorney Today
You should never have to worry that an attorney will share your information with any outside parties. Our consultations are safe and secure and represent no financial risk whatsoever. All of our staff are educated on the attorney-client privilege. At Hale Law, you can be rest assured that your representation will be maintained privately. We also handle every case free of charge unless we win.
Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.