The Obligations Owed by a Personal Injury Attorney to a Client

A personal injury attorney owes their client certain obligations, not necessarily as a matter of law, but also as a matter of ethics and good practice. Here are some the obligations an attorney owes their client, and which you should demand from your personal injury attorney.

1. Secrecy. Everyone knows that attorneys are obligated to maintain client secrecy. Ethical rules prohibit an attorney from disclosing any conversation with a client. Further, state laws provide a very strong privilege to attorney-client communications. Under said laws, no person, court, or governmental agency can force an attorney to disclose privileged to attorney-client communications.

2. Truthfulness. Attorneys owe their client, the court, and the public at large a duty of truthfulness. This is required by the ethical rules. An attorney generally must generally be forthcoming and cannot hide material information from the client or the court, unless protected by a privilege.

3. Loyalty. Attorneys owe their clients a duty of absolute loyalty. Ethical rules require attorneys to perform conflict checks before even discussing a case with a potential client. Ethical rules also require attorneys to prevent conflicts from occurring by requiring attorneys to decline representing potential clients in certain situations. Further, in the event a conflict of interest arises during the course of representation, ethical rules require the attorney to withdraw from representing any client in the controversy.

4. Diligence. Attorneys owe their clients an obligation to regularly communicate with their clients and to promptly move their clients’ cases forwarded toward a resolution. Diligence and promptness in this context does not require daily or weekly communications and activities but, instead, what is required or reasonable under the circumstances.

5. Following Instructions. In general, attorneys are obligated to follow their clients’ instructions regarding the goals of the representation. Ethical rules also provide that the client, not the attorney, has the absolute final say regarding settlement. However, the attorney has final say regarding tactical decisions, such as which motions to file and when, what to say in court and when, and the like. Clients are not attorneys and are not permitted to manage the daily activities of the litigation. Similarly if you hire a pilot to transport you to a certain location, you have the right to control the goal, landing at your chosen destination, and the right to change that goal, such as demanding to land at a different destination; however, you have no right to dictate the tactics of achieving that goal, such as air speed, altitude, and the other aspects affecting the safe control of the aircraft.

The foregoing is just a brief synopsis of obligations a personal injury attorney owes their client, and which you should demand from your personal injury attorney.

Personal Injury Auto Settlements

Personal injury caused by an auto accident can be settled alone or with the help of a personal injury attorney. Personal injury auto settlements are negotiable and one can get fair compensation for the injuries. Personal injury auto settlements try and recompense the victim’s pain and suffering to a certain extent.

The capacity to convince an insurance company regarding the cause of the accident and the person who caused it is necessary for an amicable settlement. The victim should have the power to talk about the way the accident occurred. A personal injury auto claim must try to get maximum benefit. The amount that can be claimed depends on the severity of the injury. Personal injuries are categorized into four different types. They are temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability and permanent partial disability. Some vehicle insurance policies and non automobile insurance policies have the provision to pay medical bills. Anyone putting up a claim must be aware of this special coverage of insurance policies.

The victim’s personality sometimes has an effect in personal injury auto settlements. Confidence in oneself and a stern stand are essential to gain maximum payment. One should always remain focused on the subject and respond accordingly. Talking about liability is often of no use. The pain and suffering caused by the accident ought to be highlighted. The adjuster of the claims must be convinced that the settlement should conform to the victim’s terms and conditions.

Even though victims of accidents have adequate automobile liability or insurance coverage, they have to fight to get maximum amount from insurance companies. Medical bills, hospitalization, medicine and other miscellaneous expenses related to treatment must be submitted for adequate reimbursement. Insurance coverage is also available for wage loss related to the accident. A medical report stating the difficulties caused due to the auto accident and the time consumed for recovery is necessary to settle personal injury claims more effectively. It is important for automobile users to take insurance policies and understand legal options.

How to Handle an Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney

It never hurts to be prepared for any situation, so here is some advice on how to handle the initial consultation with a personal injury attorney.

1. Research the attorney. First, if you have not already done so, do a little internet research about the attorney. Take a look at the attorney’s website. See if anyone has provide any review of the attorney. This type of information will give you some insight into the attorney and their qualifications prior to the consultation.

2. Call the attorney’s office and speak to an intake paralegal. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get a hold of the attorney on the first telephone call. Attorney calendars usually stay full and the attorney may or may not even be in the office. Nevertheless, ask to meet with the attorney in person for a short consultation. Also ask what information you should bring to the meeting.

3. Get your ducks in a row. Before the meeting, get together documentation which may be relevant to your case. These items will likely include your auto insurance policy, photographs, police reports, and any other relevant evidence you may have which is relevant to your case.

4. Tell the attorney everything. At the consultation, tell the attorney everything. Usually the best way is to quickly tell the attorney your story and then allow the attorney to ask you questions to help the attorney better understand what they consider to be the important aspects of your claim.

5. Be forthcoming a truthful. At the consultation, be fully forthcoming and truthful about the facts of your case. You should not be afraid of this. If there is an ugly part of your case which you believe may be unfavorable, failing to tell you attorney about it will serve you no benefit. Often, if an attorney finds out something negative about their client or their client’s case early in the representation, the attorney is able to effectively minimize the impact of that negative. However, if you allow your attorney to be blindsided by the opposing party late in you case, your attorney may not be able to effectively reduce the impact of the negative. Furthermore, if you are caught in a lie, it will only hurt your case and if the lie is big enough you may well lose your case entirely.

6. Ask your attorney questions. Once your have completed the foregoing items, ask your attorney all the questions you want to know about them and your case.

Follow these simple steps, and you will be prepared and able to effectively handle an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney.