What is attorney/client privilege and what does it mean for your personal injury case?

Anyone who has ever seen an episode of Law & Order has heard the term “attorney-client privilege,” but few truly understand what it means. At its core, attorney-client privilege refers to protected communication between an attorney and their client. 

The communication you have with your lawyer is legally protected from disclosure to any third party, including business associations, government agencies, and even criminal justice authorities. For the attorney-client privilege to be in effect, there must be an attorney-client relationship. This means that you cannot expect any attorney to keep your communication with them secret. 

However, the privilege does extend to a potential attorney-client relationship. If you tell your brother-in-law, who is an attorney, that you committed a crime, this communication is not protected. However, if you contact an attorney about potentially hiring them and then explain your legal situation, that communication is protected. 

It is essential to understand the bounds of this relationship when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. Attorney-client privilege should make you feel completely safe in being 100% honest with your attorney. You do not need to worry about admitting something to them that will get you in trouble. In fact, it is in your best interest to be completely honest with them so that they can better represent you. 

For example, if someone rear-ends you while you were driving on an expired license, you need to disclose that to your attorney. If you do not, then you risk the other side finding out first and your attorney being caught off-guard. Remember that your attorney is working in your best interest, and they will do so no matter what you disclose to them. 

If you were doing something wrong at the time of your personal injury accident, it likely would not preclude you from collecting damages. It may, however, affect your case, so be upfront with your attorney. 

If you need assistance and representation following a personal injury accident, contact Herrera Law. We respect the attorney-client privilege and promise always to do what is best for our clients. There is no downside to working with us, so call today for a free consultation and remember, anything you disclose in the consultation will be considered privileged communication. 

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