Do I really need to tell my attorney everything?
Article by Attorney Harmony J. Widman
Once you retain an attorney to represent you after an automobile accident you may be worried about what to share with them both about the accident and about previous circumstances. You may even feel tempted to hold back information from your attorney but is imperative that you fight that urge. You attorney’s job is to protect you and represent you to the best of their ability. Your attorney will be most effective when they know the whole story and can prepare for any potential pitfalls or snags along the way.
The first stage of any automobile accident case is the investigation stage. The investigation phase is your attorney’s first opportunity to gather information about you and the accident. In addition, the insurance company will be conducting their own investigation. The insurance company’s lawyers will not be content with the information you give them, they will aggressively research your past history and the circumstances surrounding the accident. The insurance company may require you to submit to a medical exam, run a complete background check on you, request your entire medical history and research all of your social media accounts for anything they can use to bolster their case and harm your case.
The bottom line is, the insurance company has a team of professionals working to ensure that every unflattering and/or harmful detail about your life/accident becomes known. It is critical that you place your trust in your attorney and share with them all of the facts of the incident, your past medical history and any other relevant information to support them in creating successful strategy to pursue your claim. Your attorney needs to hear every detail from you in the investigation stage and not from the insurance adjuster or defense attorney during negotiations.
If you are not sure what information is relevant, it is better to share everything with your attorney. Allow them to determine what information is necessary when pursing your claim. All of the information you share with your attorney is confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege. Meaning your attorney is ethically required not to share the information with anyone else. Unless forced to do so by Court rules.
Full disclosure with your attorney is always the best policy.