After a crash, you might be considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help with your case. If this is the case, it’s important to understand what attorney-client privilege is, what it protects, and when it starts. This is essential for protecting your claim. In this article, we’ll discuss some highlights of attorney-client privilege with your car accident lawyer that you should know for your case.
What is Attorney-Client Privilege With My Car Accident Lawyer?
You may have heard of attorney-client privilege, but what exactly is it? This is essentially a protection for the client (you) where your lawyer can’t share confidential information that you tell them. The idea behind this legal protection is that you should be able to talk to your lawyer freely about your case.
For instance, you might know that many insurance companies try to use pre-existing medical conditions against you to reduce the payout for your claim. If you think your Houston car accident attorney can share this with someone without your permission, then you might not tell them about your condition. Instead, because attorney-client privilege exists, you can tell your lawyer about the condition so they can help you understand how it might affect your case and strategize accordingly to help you get the most compensation possible for your claim after a car accident.
What is Protected By Attorney-Client Privilege?
Most of what you say to your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege. That means they can’t share details about your case with anyone outside of the legal team. So, you can tell them all about the details of the accident, share the evidence you collected at the scene, and discuss anything else that might affect your case.
There are a few exceptions to be aware of. For instance, attorney-client privilege doesn’t protect information about a crime or fraud you’re planning to commit. If you tell your lawyer about something you’ve done in the past, usually this is confidential. However, if you mention that you’re planning to, say, commit insurance fraud for your accident, your attorney doesn’t have to keep it secret. If you share that you’re planning to commit a crime that is likely to cause death or serious injury, then Texas law actually requires your attorney to tell authorities to try to prevent that from happening.
Also, privilege applies only if you’re seeking legal counsel or services from a lawyer. For instance, if you ask your car accident lawyer about something unrelated to your case, like what they think of your new car, that usually isn’t protected. Or, if you have a friend who is a lawyer and you ask them about your case, making it clear you’re not going to hire them and that they’re not speaking in a professional capacity, this usually doesn’t fall under attorney-client privilege either.
Does Privilege Start During the Consultation with My Houston Personal Injury Lawyer?
One big question you might have is whether attorney-client privilege starts during the consultation. This is important, as you might have consultations with several attorneys before you choose one to hire for your case.
The good news is, even if you don’t hire a lawyer, usually anything you say during a consultation is confidential through attorney-client privilege. Since it’s a conversation with a Houston personal injury lawyer where they’re acting in a professional capacity and you’re looking for legal advice, attorney-client privilege usually applies. Therefore, that lawyer can’t share what you say unless you give them permission, whether you decide to hire them or not. Unless, of course, one of the other exceptions applies.
However, since what you share with prospective lawyers can have a huge impact on your case, it certainly never hurts to ask before the consultation just to confirm that privilege will protect your conversation.
Get a Top Houston Car Accident Attorney with Maida Law Firm
If you need a car accident lawyer, our team at Maida Law Firm is here to help you. We are a personal injury law firm and work with many types of cases, including auto accidents. Our team has worked with thousands of clients to help them seek compensation for their case. We provide solution-based strategies to help you recover maximum compensation for your damages and injuries. Get in touch now to schedule a free consultation with our legal professionals.