You have been in a car crash. Your car is totaled. Your neck, back, and head hurts. You really hope it will feel better tomorrow so you decide not to go to the hospital. Or, you do go to the hospital, nothing is fractured, and you are discharged with little direction a few hours later.
What happens next?
The insurance companies will start calling. What do you say to them? Should you talk to them?
By the next morning, the pain in your back is worse and you are feeling radiating pain into your arms. How bad is this? How will you pay for this?
The other driver got a citation and the officer at the scene said you may have to testify at a hearing against the other driver. What is that all about?
Your car is smashed. It is at tow lot. Are fees starting to rack up for the storage? Who will have to pay for that? Will it be totaled? Will you get a fair amount for your car?
WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW!?!?!?!?!?!?!
At Glassman & Zissimopulos Law, we understand that car crashes throw people’s lives into immediate turmoil. That is one of the reasons that we don’t use an after hours answering service. My friends tease me – but if you call Glassman & Zissimopulos Law at 352-505-4515 after hours – you speak to me or Dan Glassman. You get a partner – someone who understands what you are going through and can help.
With that in mind, and understanding the importance of attorney-client communications, it was such a wonderful relief this week to see the Florida Supreme Court honor the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege in the decision of Worley v. Central Florida Young Men’s Christian Ass’n, Inc., (Fla. 2017). You can read all about the decision here.
In Worley, the Florida Supreme Court held that insurance defense lawyers cannot ask plaintiffs how they were referred to their doctors. In years past, insurance defense lawyers argued that they could ask this question because referrals showed bias on the part of the doctors. That is an unfair argument and, quite frankly, at Glassman & Zissimopulos Law we use a basic rule with any referrals to medical professionals: Do not refer a client to a doctor who we would not trust to treat us or our own families. Referrals do not show bias – they show trust.
Lawyers need to be able to communicate freely with clients. For lawyers who help people who have been injured in car crashes and accidents, it is critically important that we are able to discuss medical referrals without fear that these communications are going to be criticized later, during litigation.
At Glassman & Zissimopulos Law, we know that crashes and injuries cause turmoil. We have stood with countless families helping to find answers to the many questions that arise during these times. If you call us – no matter what time – we will be there. We have started telling people just to program our number as “My Lawyer” in their phone. I’ve even done it . . . a screenshot from my actual phone:
And now, thanks to the Florida Supreme Court – these communications between attorney and client can remain confidential.