Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Truth About Legal Fees

In almost every case there comes a times where I ask my clients what they hope to recover from their lawsuit. Answers run the gamut from "whatever you think is fair, you're the attorney" to "a million dollars, nothing less."

One common consideration that I hear a lot is that clients want to recover their attorneys fees and costs as part of their damages. This is often couched as "well in addition to covering your costs I want....(fill in the blank)" Unfortunately, in most cases, this is not a realistic request.

The thing is, I completely understand where my clients are coming from. They have been injured in someway by someone else. Their injuries were not their fault so why should they have to pay their attorneys fees? That makes sense.

BUT most causes of action in Pennsylvania do not provide for attorneys fees. For instance, medical malpractice and car crash cases do no provide for the recovery of attorneys fees. It is not fair but it is the law. There are a couple of causes of action, like claims of fraud under the Consumer Protection Law, that provide for attorneys fees if your claim is successful. But such claims are the exception not the rule.

So if you ever find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit find out from your attorney, at the outset of the case, whether your claim will let you seek to recover your attorneys fees. Better to understand this aspect of your damages going in then to be surprised at the end of the case. Share this post :
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