What Ethical Obligations Does My Attorney Have to my Case?
When you hire an attorney after an accident, you expect him or her to follow the law when pursuing compensation for your damages to ensure you do not get into legal trouble in the process. But did you know your attorney also has certain ethical obligations to you?
Below, we discuss some of the most important ethical obligations New Jersey car accident lawyers owe to you if you decide to work with a lawyer during your injury case.
Not only does your attorney need to be honest while filing paperwork with the insurance companies and the court if a lawsuit is filed, but he or she also needs to be honest with you about the case.
Honesty with a client helps build trust. If your attorney is not upfront with you about things, you are less likely to trust that person with details that can make or break your case.
In addition to building trust, honesty with a client is important because it helps set realistic expectations. As an accident victim, it would not be in your best interest to have an attorney who only tells you what you want to hear.
Your attorney is ethically obligated to take on cases he or she is competent enough to understand. In other words, you want an attorney and a firm that has handled cases like yours before. (You also want to make sure the firm has the resources to build a strong case on your behalf.) It is important to note that competency does not mean you are guaranteed to receive compensation.
One of the most important ethical obligations to any case or client is to keep details of the case and communication with the client confidential.
It is very important that your attorney does not go around discussing your case with anyone who will listen. Instead, he or she needs to keep that information private and only discuss facts about you and your case with members of his or her law firm while working on your case.
Not only is it unethical to discuss your case with others, but it is also borderline illegal, as you have the right to attorney-client privilege when it comes to communication between you and your lawyer.
Confidentiality encourages the client to feel comfortable disclosing important information with his or her attorney. If you cannot trust an attorney to keep your information private, you may not share as much as you need to share.
ACTING IN YOUR BEST INTEREST
When you work with an attorney, he or she is ethically obligated to act in your best interest. This means he or she must offer legal advice that would best fit your needs and help you recover maximum compensation. It is important to note that an attorney while acting in the best interest of his or her client must still follow the law. Therefore, lying on behalf of a client would violate both the law and the ethics of the profession.
An attorney should not steer a client to accept a settlement offer simply because he or she wants money for the firm. Instead, an attorney has an ethical obligation to fight for the maximum compensation for a client even if it means taking the case to court and risking an unfavorable jury verdict. Sometimes it is a better idea to accept a settlement because it would be harder to prove liability in a court case.
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If you are considering working with an attorney to help you recover the compensation you need for an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should strongly consider speaking to our dedicated attorneys to see what legal options may be available to you.
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