Skip to Content
Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
Free Consultations 505-219-2176

Attorney-Client Privilege in an Injury Claim

When you are dealing with a personal injury case, finding the right attorney is crucial. Your attorney will help you navigate the complicated legal process and work to get you the compensation you deserve. During your case, it is important that you are open and honest with your attorney about all aspects of your case.  

While some people may be hesitant and worried about how honest they can be with their attorney, you should be encouraged to disclose what you know because of attorney-client-privilege. In this blog post, we will explore what attorney-client privilege is, how it can impact your case, and the benefits of attorney-client privilege. 

Why Clients May Be Hesitant to Be Honest with Their Attorney 

There are several reasons why clients may be hesitant or nervous to be entirely honest with their personal injury attorney. Firstly, injury cases can be emotionally charged, and clients may not feel comfortable discussing sensitive information. For instance, they may be embarrassed to admit that they were partially responsible for the accident or ashamed to disclose the full extent of their injuries.  

Clients may also fear that disclosing certain details may harm their case or reduce their chances of receiving compensation. This fear may be exacerbated if the client has had an unpleasant experience with a personal injury attorney in the past or has heard horror stories from others. There may also be practical reasons why clients are hesitant to reveal all the details of their case, such as a lack of trust in the legal system or their legal representation. 

It is crucial for attorneys to create a supportive and understanding environment for their clients to foster trust and to establish an honest and open line of communication. This ensures that clients feel comfortable sharing everything that is relevant to their case, which can help deliver the best possible outcome. If you are filing a personal injury claim, you should also be encouraged to be honest as you will have attorney-client privilege with your attorney. 

Defining Attorney-Client Privilege 

Attorney-client privilege is a legal principle that protects communications between a client and their lawyer. This principle is established so that clients can talk to their attorneys freely and without fear of those conversations being used against them in court.  

Attorney-client privilege applies to many different types of communication, including emails, letters, texts, and verbal conversations. It also covers materials such as drafts of legal documents and notes taken during conversations. 

How Does Attorney-Client Privilege Impact Personal Injury Cases? 

While you may think of attorney-client privilege in connection with criminal law matters, the attorney-client privilege extends to personal injury cases as well, and clients can discuss the details of their case with their attorney without worrying about that information being shared with outsiders or outside of the lawyer's office. This privilege holds, even if the lawyer decides not to take on the client's case, or the client chooses not to pursue legal action.  

Personal injury clients can trust that their information remains confidential, and they can work with their attorneys freely and openly. This privilege, which is vital to ensure that clients can seek legal advice without concerns of privacy breaches, is a fundamental right provided by the law.  

In a personal injury case, attorney-client privilege can be particularly important. Your attorney needs to understand the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your life to build a compelling case. It is important to be completely honest and forthright with your attorney so that they can help you to the best of their ability. Understanding attorney-client privilege means that you can feel comfortable speaking honestly with your attorney about every aspect of your case without fear of the things you say being used against you later. 

Are There Exceptions to the Attorney-Client Privilege?  

However, there are exceptions where this privilege may be limited or negated. While the exceptions to attorney-client privilege are narrow, they are intended to prevent clients from using the privilege to further illegal activities or harm others. Therefore, attorneys should always carefully explain the scope of attorney-client privilege and its limitations to their clients to avoid misunderstandings and protect the attorney-client relationship. 

Examples of when exceptions to attorney-client privilege can be made include:  

  • A client seeks legal advice concerning a claim involving crime or fraud.  

  • A client passes away and privilege can be waived during litigation between a client’s heirs.  

  • An attorney represents two clients in the same matter, so neither party can claim attorney-client privilege if they later pursue claims against each other over the same matter.  

It is also important to note that clients can choose to waive attorney-client privilege. During your case, your attorney may need to disclose certain information you share with the insurance company during settlement negotiations. For instance, if you suffered an injury that affect your ability to be intimate with your partner, your attorney may advise that you share this information as you and your spouse may be entitled to loss of consortium claim.  

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law is here and equipped to help you pursue compensation. Call (505) 219-2176 to schedule a case consultation today.