If you are a car crash victim, you can take advantage of the attorney-client privilege to keep your conversations with your attorney private.
This judicial precedent prevents a car crash attorney from disclosing shared information about your claim to an insurance company or the police without your written permission.
Regrettably, many wounded crash victims fail to get their rightful compensation simply because they don’t know about attorney-client privilege. They usually hold back vital information that could aid their case.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of attorney-client privilege and how you can benefit from it when filing an accident claim.
What Is Attorney-Client Privilege?
Attorney-client privilege is a judicial precedent that allows wounded crash victims to share information with their lawyers and be assured their conversations will remain confidential.
It protects communications between lawyers and their clients made in confidence to obtain legal help.
The attorney cannot reveal your details to third parties such as government agencies, insurance companies, or the court willingly or through compulsion unless it has ill motives.
How Does Attorney-Client Privilege Work?
Attorney-client privilege is similar to doctor-patient confidentiality in that a lawyer cannot go about sharing your private details with anyone without your written consent.
The essence of attorney-client privilege is encouraging you to share information with your lawyer for proper legal representation.
Chapter 90 of the Florida Statutes provides the legal guidelines for lawyer-client privilege in the state, ensuring that all concerned parties act within the law.
According to these statutes, communication between an attorney and client is confidential, and the client has the privilege to refuse to disclose and prevent others from revealing the contents of confidential communications.
A client, a guardian to a client, a representative of a deceased client, or a successor (assignee), can claim lawyer-client privilege when filing a claim on their behalf or on behalf of their loved ones.
The privilege remains in force even if a client dies or after filing a successful claim.
When Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply?
Typically, the attorney-client privilege applies when a client consults a lawyer for legal services.
Even though attorney-client privilege remains an established legal doctrine, its application is not absolute.
It depends on the nature, content, and circumstances of the conversations. Subsequent actions after attorney-client conversations can also determine whether the privilege holds.
Attorney-client privilege only applies if:
- You are a prospective client seeking legal services
- The person receiving the information is a licensed attorney
- You provided the info to the lawyer without the presence of third parties
- The purpose of the communication is solely for legal assistance
Attorney-Client Privilege Exceptions
Attorney-client privilege does not apply if the purpose of the communication is to commit, cover-up, or further a crime or fraud. In such situations, the attorney must disclose the conversations to relevant authorities or risk criminal charges or disciplinary sanctions.
Mandatory disclosure may apply if the information provided involves details of a missing person, crucial evidence, threats to third parties, and perjured testimonies.
All communications must be private between an attorney and a client, with no third parties present to enjoy privileged protections. The other person(s) in the room can disclose the information, leaving you or the lawyer helpless in such situations.
Posting case details on social media platforms can also weaken your claim since social media posts are not privileged information, and anyone can access it.
Avoid posting anything related to your claim on social media during your case so as not to waive your attorney-client privilege.
Advantages of Attorney-Client Privilege
Wounded crash victims can benefit significantly from the attorney-client privilege rule. It ensures the contents of confidential communications between you and a car crash attorney remain private.
Here are the top advantages of attorney-client privilege to crash victims:
You can speak privately to a professional car crash attorney about the crash without worrying about them disclosing the info to the police or insurance company, helping to strengthen your case.
Sound Legal Representation
The underlying principle of attorney-client privilege is to provide sound legal counsel. The lawyer can use the information provided to help you file a successful claim and argue your case.
Your attorney will advise you on the dos and don’ts of lawyer-client privileges so you don’t jeopardize your claim with your subsequent actions. For instance, your attorney may instruct you to refrain from posting on social media during the case.