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The Obligations Owed By A Personal Injury Attorney To A Client

 June 30, 2017  /  Comments Off on The Obligations Owed By A Personal Injury Attorney To A Client

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A personal injury attorney is a lawyer that provides legal representation to clients who claim to have received physical or psychological injuries due to wrongdoing or negligence of another person, government agency, company, or any other entity. These lawyers tend to specialize in the area of law known as tort law.

The Obligations Owed By A Personal Injury Attorney To A Client

As with all other lawyers, personal injury attorneys have certain obligations towards their clients as a matter of law, and also as a matter of good practice and ethics. Some of these obligations by personal injury attorneys are discussed in the segment below. Clients are not only entitled to these obligations; they should demand for them if the attorney is not forthcoming.

  1. Secrecy

Lawyers are obligated to maintain client secrecy by the law, unless otherwise stated. As such, ethical rules and practice prohibit a lawyer from disclosing any conversations and other pertinent information received from their client. State laws also greatly uphold privilege to attorney-client communications. Under these laws, no individual, government agency, or court can coerce an attorney into disclosing informing given to the attorney by the client under attorney-client communication privilege.

  1. Truthfulness

All attorneys (not only personal injury attorneys) not only owe the courts the truth, but they also owe the truth to their clients and the general public a duty of truthfulness. As such, an attorney should be forthcoming with a client and should not hide any material or information from their client unless it is protected by a privilege. Clients are entitled to know all the factors and circumstances influencing their case. Attorneys should also be truthful with their clients on whether they stand to win or lose a case.

  1. Loyalty

They say that in this life if you find someone loyal to you, keep them. Clients always look for attorneys who will be loyal to them and their case. Attorneys, on the other hand, owe their clients a duty of absolute loyalty.  According to ethical rules, attorneys should check and ascertain that there is no conflict of interest before discussing a case with a potential client. Lawyers are also required by ethical rules to prevent conflicts from arising by declining to represent potential clients in certain circumstances. If a conflict of interest does occur during the representation, the attorney is required by ethical rules to withdraw from representing the client moving forward.

  1. Diligence

Attorneys owe their clients a thorough job done on the matter at hand. They are obligated to regularly communicate with their clients to update on any happenings with regards to the client’s legal matter.  They should promptly move their client’s cases forward towards a resolution on the matter at hand. By diligence, we do not mean that the attorney should talk to the client on a daily basis unless the matter calls for it, but they are required to do what is right and reasonable under the circumstances surrounding the matter.

  1. Following Instructions

Attorneys are obligated to listen and follow their client’s instructions regarding the goals of the legal representation. According to ethical rules, the client and not the attorney has the final say regarding the situation at hand. This is not to say that the client should tell the attorney how to do his/her job. On the contrary, an attorney has the final say on which tactics or strategy will be employed in resolving the legal matter, but the client has the final say on the goal he has for legal representation.

An attorney-client relationship is a give and take relationship. An attorney has obligations to his client the same way the client has obligations towards his/her attorney. In personal injury cases, the attorney’s obligations become even more pronounced because the legal matter could even be dealing with a life and death situation.

Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.

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  • Published: 6 months ago on June 30, 2017
  • Last Modified: June 30, 2017 @ 11:11 am
  • Filed Under: Legal

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