How the “Loser Pays” Law Would Have Affected Houston Injury Attorney Fees

March 1, 2012 by

 As a Houston injury attorney, I know that one of the biggest concerns for many of my clients is the cost of litigation. They’ve just gone through a huge ordeal that has cost them physically, emotionally, and, of course, financially. Many may fear seeking out justice in court, because they believe that if they lose they’ll now have legal bills to pay in addition to their medical bills. That’s why I do my work as a Houston injury attorney on a contingent basis, as do most lawyers who work in this field. This means that we only get paid if we win the case, and we take a portion of the settlement our clients are awarded.

 This system works because it allows individuals to seek out justice without worrying about the cost of litigation, and it keeps frivolous lawsuits out of court because a personal injury lawyer will only take on cases that have merit. One of the many incarnations of House Bill 274 would put this at risk.

 Houston Injury Attorney Fees and the Evolution of House Bill 274

 Since it was possible for the winner of a lawsuit to end up owing more in litigation costs than their case was worth, it would have discouraged plaintiffs with legitimate cases that deserve their day in court to file the suit in the first place.

 Additionally, recovering fees would have become more complicated for the Houston injury attorney on each case. If attorney’s fees are awarded as part of the judgment, is the fee award added to the lump sum, and the contingency fee taken from that? Unfortunately, there are rules prohibiting this. Specifically, Rule 5.04, which states that a lawyer cannot share or promise part of his legal fees to a non-lawyer.

 Of course, there are ways around this issue, but it would have made the process more complicated for both the personal injury lawyer and the client. This just goes to show how important the American Rule is for protecting justice in the United States by enabling those in need to fight for their rights in court with the Houston injury attorney of their choosing.

 If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, contact Marc Whitehead, a board certified personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas or download our free ebook, Car & Truck Crashes, 10 Secrets Victims Should Know To Protect Their Rights.