Is anything you tell your personal injury lawyer confidential? Most personal injury lawyers offer free, confidential consultations — but what keeps them from sharing your privileged information with another party without your consent?
If you are looking for the answers to these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Below, this personal injury lawyer in Mulberry, Florida is going to discuss many things you should know about attorney-client privilege and how it relates to personal injury cases in Florida.
What is attorney-client privilege?
Once an attorney-client relationship is established between you and your personal injury lawyer in Mulberry, Florida, your lawyer cannot be compelled to disclose anything you say in confidence to them. Likewise, you cannot be called in court to testify about any privileged information disclosed to your attorney.
However, you must be careful about disclosing information in the presence of a third party. Generally, having another person in the room means that attorney-client privilege does not apply.
Do free case consultations count as privileged?
The attorney-client privilege applies if you sign a retainer agreement and engage with a Mulberry personal injury lawyer. But what if you only meet with your attorney for a free consultation — say to discuss your legal options for filing a job site accident lawsuit? Since you do not have an attorney-client relationship at that point, is any information you disclosed during the consultation confidential?
The answer is yes — you do not have to retain an attorney to benefit from the attorney-client privilege. The privileges apply as long as the disclosure of information was made to obtain legal advice.
Can attorney-client privilege be waived?
Generally, privileged information cannot be obtained through discovery requests — depositions, interrogatories, and requests to produce documents. Therefore, neither you nor your Mulberry personal injury lawyer can be compelled to disclose privileged information in court.
However, the attorney-client privilege can be waived, or it may not apply in some situations.
First, you can waive your privilege voluntarily. Your lawyer would be free to disclose any privileged information with your consent. You may be required to waive your attorney-client privilege to negotiate a settlement or support a legal argument in court.
Additionally, there are some situations where the attorney-client privilege may not apply because the information is not protected by public policy or by law. These include the following scenarios:
- The client disclosed information to obtain legal advice on committing fraud or crime.
- When a client passes away and their heirs or potential heirs dispute over the decedent’s estate.
- When an attorney represents both parties in a legal case, and then the parties disagree over the joint representation.
- When there is reasonable cause to believe that the attorney-client privilege is being exploited to conceal acts of terrorism, law enforcement officials monitor the interactions between attorneys and inmates.
If you have any questions about attorney-client privilege that were not addressed above, you can always contact your local personal injury lawyer in Mulberry, Florida for more information.
Looking for the Most Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in Mulberry, Florida? Contact O’Toole Law Group.
Have you or a loved one been injured due to someone else’s negligence in the Mulberry area? If so, and if you’re ready to partner with the most trusted personal injury lawyer in Mulberry, Florida, look no further than the experts at O’Toole Law Group. Our qualified and experienced personal injury attorneys put in the time and effort to make sure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.