Why is it Important to be Honest with Your Personal Injury Lawyer?

2021-02-12 12:53:00
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honesty with your personal injury lawyerYou may have reservations about disclosing some of your medical and financial histories to your attorney, perhaps because of feelings of embarrassment or fear that they may determine that you do not have a case. Sharing negative details may feel uncomfortable at the time, but withholding information from your attorney can ultimately hurt your case.

At the Arnold Law Firm, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers understand these concerns and are prepared to discuss them with you in a confidential free consultation.

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege that keeps communications between an attorney and his or her client private – including emails, phone calls, text messages and any other forms of conversation This privilege applies whenever you are discussing your case with your attorney unless you choose to waive it in writing.

In addition to keeping communications with the client private, attorneys also have a duty of confidentiality to the client. This means that an attorney may not casually discuss a client’s case with anyone, even if the information did not come directly from the client.

Being Upfront Helps Your Attorney Prepare for Negotiations

When you file a personal injury claim, you will need to provide extensive information to your attorney so they can build your case effectively and prepare for potential arguments made by the insurance company. The information you discuss is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Medical History

It is important to be honest about your medical history, both with the doctor who treats you and your attorney, including disclosing prior injuries and preexisting conditions. An accurate medical history will help your attorney build a stronger case and better negotiate a favorable settlement despite claims by the insurer that your injuries are not a direct result of the accident.

A preexisting condition does not prohibit you from seeking compensation. If your attorney is aware of your medical history, they can be prepared to counter arguments about your injuries only being related to that preexisting condition.

Financial Situation

Discussing significant financial events, such as a bankruptcy or divorce, with your personal injury attorney may not occur to you. However, your financial situation can have a significant impact on a personal injury claim.

If your attorney is aware of your situation, they can better advise you. For instance, settlements may be structured in a way to protect them from garnishment or creditors. Your attorney also needs to make sure the settlement complies with state and federal law.

Insurance companies may also investigate your background to determine whether you are struggling financially. They may leverage your situation to motivate acceptance of a lower offer. Financial distress may also be used as a reason to deny your claim, arguing that you are exaggerating your injuries to recover compensation to pay other outstanding debts.

Criminal History

Disclose any criminal history, including a criminal driving record, to your attorney. Insurance companies are known to use this type of information to attack your credibility.

Potential Fault  

Depending on the circumstances of an accident, multiple parties may be partially at fault for the injuries that occur. California’s comparative negligence law accounts for this and still allows you to recover compensation if you are partially to blame.

If you share some fault for the accident that caused your injuries, tell your attorney so they can ensure you are not assigned more fault than you deserve.

Hire an Attorney You Can Trust. Call to Schedule a Free Consultation

At the Arnold Law Firm, you can trust that your information will be handled professionally and kept confidential in compliance with California and federal law.

We have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our satisfied clients and are ready to help you. There are no upfront fees for our services, and we do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

Call today to schedule your free consultation: (916) 777-7777