You may have heard of attorney-client privilege, but how does it work exactly, particularly after a crash? When does attorney-client privilege apply and how does it protect your conversations with an attorney from other parties, such as the insurance company? Are there exceptions to attorney-client privilege?
If you are unsure how an attorney can help you after a crash, learn more about the ways attorney-client privilege can benefit you. Conversations with an attorney are afforded protection in most situations.
Below, our team of attorneys at Gordon & Partners discuss attorney-client privilege in greater detail. If you have questions about your claim, do not hesitate to contact our firm today. We offer a free initial consultation. Anything discussed in this meeting is kept confidential so there is no risk to you.
What Exactly Is Attorney-Client Privilege?
Attorney-client privilege allows crash victims to openly share information with their attorney without having to worry whether the attorney will share this information with another party. Attorneys are prevented from testifying or being forced to testify about any statements received from their clients.
Attorneys are not allowed to discuss any information that is relative to your claim with anyone else. This includes insurance companies, police officers or the courts without your written permission.
In Florida, attorney-client privilege is governed by Section 90.502 of the Florida Statutes, which states that a client has a right to refuse to disclose and to prevent anyone from disclosing information while seeking legal help. This privilege may also be claimed by a guardian or representative of a client.
When Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply?
Attorney-client privilege applies to confidential communications between a client and his or her attorney. The moment you speak with an attorney about your claim and possibly representing you, conversations and other forms of communication (i.e. phone calls, emails, text messages and letters) are protected when the following criteria are met:
- You have an attorney-client relationship with your attorney
- Your attorney was performing in a professional capacity
- You were speaking to your attorney to get legal advice
- You intended the communications to remain private
This privilege applies even after a claim is resolved or if a client passes away during legal proceedings.
Advantages of Attorney-Client Privilege
Attorney-client privilege offers several advantages to injured crash victims. You are able to talk privately about any details or issues about your claim and know that these conversations are confidential.
Be honest and open with your attorney about anything that may impact your claim. Perhaps you have a preexisting injury that you are concerned about disclosing for fear of the insurance company using it against you to devalue or deny your claim. This will be kept between you and your attorney.
By letting your attorney know, he or she will be prepared to deal with this issue when it likely comes up later. If you fail to disclose information, it will be more difficult for your attorney to manage your claim and recover maximum compensation. You do not want to do anything to jeopardize your claim.
Exceptions to Attorney-Client Privilege
There are exceptions to attorney-client privilege. This privilege does not apply to communications that reveal fraud or fraudulent attempts. An attorney must disclose this information.
This privilege also does not apply to communications that are criminal. If a client tells his or her attorney about a crime he or she is planning to commit, the attorney is legally required to report it.
There are other situations when information could get released to other parties. If a client speaks to his or her attorney in a public setting and someone overhears the conversation, that person may disclose the information. There is nothing the attorney can do. Be sure to keep your conversations confidential.
If you post anything on social media, this is not considered privileged information either. These communications are not exclusive to you or your attorney. This is why you may be advised by your attorney to refrain from mentioning the crash or your claim on social media.
If you communicate regularly through emails with your attorney, it is important that these emails are sent from your home and from a personal account. There should be no expectation of privacy when using a work email account.
Get Answers To Your Legal Questions Today
Need legal help after a crash? A licensed car crash attorney in West Palm Beach is ready to discuss your rights during a free, no-obligation consultation. We are ready to handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. We want you to focus on your recovery.
If you have a valid claim, there are no upfront fees to hire our firm. We only get paid if you get paid.