What is Attorney/Client Privilege and Why Does it Matter in your Personal Injury Case?

The first step in bringing a personal injury lawsuit is finding and meeting with an experienced lawyer. And, should the case move forward, that will be the first of many meetings. Over time you’ll have many conversations as the lawyer learns everything they can about what happened, and some of those conversations may be difficult. Details of the incident may be sensitive, even intimate. You’ll want assurances that those discussions remain private and confidential.

Attorney/client privilege

Luckily the American legal system has safeguards in place that ensure just that—attorney/client privilege. Attorney/client privilege is an established legal rule that protects and maintains the confidentiality of your communications with your attorney. They cannot share what you tell them, and they cannot be legally forced to divulge that information by others. In fact, an attorney can be disbarred for breaking a client’s confidentiality.

Attorney/client privilege not only protects you as plaintiff, but hopefully encourages you to tell your attorney everything you know involving the incident.

When does attorney/client privilege begin?


  • You meet with an attorney to seek legal help, even if it’s just a preliminary meeting to discuss your case. Does attorney/client privilege apply during a free consultation? It’s generally agreed that it does.
  • The lawyer has agreed to act for you as a legal professional. In other words, he’s not your buddy you play basketball with who also happens to be a lawyer.
  • You expected your communications to be confidential, and finally…
  • The attorney did not tell you that your communications were not protected.

When does attorney/client privilege not apply?

There are several possibilities:

  • If you waive privilege for specific information, that information can be shared.
  • If your conversation with the attorney takes place in a public place where others can hear you, such as a crowded restaurant.
  • If you engage the attorney with the intention of committing fraud.
  • If you post anything on social media—your privacy settings don’t matter.

There are two other cases where a lawyer can be compelled to share privileged information:

  • If you admit to your attorney that you plan to commit a crime.
  • If you give information to your attorney that could conceivably save another person’s life.

When you contact a lawyer regarding a personal injury case…

…be sure they are the right attorney for the job, with a full understanding of personal injury law and the staff and resources necessary to properly represent you.

If you or a family member has been involved in a personal injury incident, contact the attorneys at LaSalvia Law. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve.

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You can expect to hear from Christine 1-2 days after submitting your inquiry.

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Pay nothing up front. No fee until your case is settled or tried to a jury.