Q: How does attorney-client privilege work in my vehicle accident case?
When you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, attorney-client privilege gives you the freedom to tell your counsel everything about your collision. This legal concept means attorneys can't reveal any oral or written communications from their clients if privacy is expected.
For hundreds of years, courts upheld the right of clients to speak with their lawyers without fear of having their statements repeated. Attorneys can provide the best possible representation for their clients only when they're aware of all of the facts surrounding the case. This privilege generally remains in effect even if the client leaves or dies. While he may choose to waive this right, his attorney cannot.
There are some important exceptions to attorney-client privilege, such as when:
- The communication was made in the presence of individuals other than the attorney and his client, or it was disclosed to other individuals.
- The communication was made with the intention of committing a crime or tort.
- The client voluntarily waived attorney-client privilege.
Elements of Attorney-Client Privilege
Under attorney-client privilege, lawyers are prohibited from testifying about their clients’ statements. In addition, attorneys also have a duty of confidentiality, which prevents them from informally discussing their clients’ litigation with others.
There are a couple of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to establish attorney-client privilege in a personal injury case:
- The injured party must be a client of the attorney.
- The individual receiving the privileged communication must be a member of the bar of a court, or the subordinate of a member.
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you can seek legal representation with the assurance that your attorney won't disclose any statements you make to him. You should tell your attorney everything so that he can give you the best legal representation possible.
To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.