In Texas, attorney fees are available to be awarded to the winner of a lawsuit in limited circumstances. Some of those circumstances are when a statute provides for attorneys’ fees or the attorneys’ fees are based on a contract between the parties. Generally attorneys’ fees are not awarded to the prevailing party in a lawsuit relating to a personal injury matter such as a car accident. When attorneys’ fees are awardable under a contract, you must show that you prevailed in the lawsuit for the contract before you can be awarded attorneys’ fees. Attorneys’ fees are often termed a tagalong claim in that if you are not the prevailing party in the lawsuit the court is without ability to award you attorneys’ fees at all. This means that you must receive at least nominal damages in order to be entitled to attorneys’ fees.
Attorneys’ fees are a hot button issue in the court of appeals and ever evolving in terms of litigation because of the fees charged by attorneys it is not impossible for the cost of a lawsuit to exceed the cost of the underlying claim. When choosing an attorney it is important to speak to them frankly about their attorneys’ fees and know up front what you will be charged and what the likelihood of a recovery from the other attorney is for your attorneys’ fees.