When it comes to personal injury cases, your lawyer will need to learn many personal and private details about you and your family. Your lawyer may need to review medical records, learn about your prior medical history, review your financial history with respect to wages, and learn more about your lifestyle before and after your accident. There are often some very sensitive and private topics that must be discussed when determining the value of a case.
A skilled personal injury lawyer understands the stress and challenges families and victims face following an accident and will work carefully and compassionately with you and your loved ones to gather necessary documents and information in a respectful manner.
Some individuals may wonder whether their personal information will become public knowledge if they share this information with an attorney. For this reason, it is important to understand attorney client privilege when speaking to your lawyer. Attorney client confidentiality rules stipulate what information a lawyer may or may not share with other parties.
Attorney client privilege protects information you communicate to your personal injury lawyer. The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledges that attorney client privilege is an important right that allows individuals to share as much information as possible with their attorneys without fear or retribution or reprisal.
When your attorney knows the full story, he or she can better represent you.
Idaho law states that, “a client has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services.”
This means, that unless you provide the lawyer with express permission to share your information, your privacy will be protected.
There are some exemptions to these rules, including cases where the services of a lawyer are sought to commit fraud or crime. Additionally, the American Bar Association explains that there are certain rare cases where the lawyer may be required to testify due to a court order, in order to prevent or prosecute crime or fraud.
But, save for extreme and rare circumstances, clients can rest assured that the information they present to a lawyer will be protected and confidential. The attorney client privilege also applies to information your lawyer learns about your case, even if you did not expressly convey this information. The protections are actually rather far-reaching.
More importantly, confidential information remains confidential even after your case has been closed.
So, when it comes to speaking to a personal injury lawyer, clients should share as much information as possible to ensure that they receive the best possible representation for the case.
Clients who are sharing personal information or who are concerned about their privacy when speaking to a lawyer, should feel free to ask questions about confidentiality during an initial consultation. A licensed lawyer will always be required to honor attorney client privilege, as long as the client is under retainer.
The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen understands the sensitive nature of personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured in Meridian or Boise, Idaho, contact the firm today to learn more about how we can help you seek the help you deserve.