QUESTION:  A common question asked is whether an injured person can recoup their attorney fees in their car accident settlement.  No.  You can’t get your attorney fees back from a car accident settlement.

ANSWER:  In most car accident injury litigation or settlements you can’t get your attorney fees back.   If you win after a jury verdict or bench trial judgment, or other dismissal you can get your costs back.  Costs are not attorney fees.  Costs are defined in the court rules and commonly are:  (1).  Filing fee, generally $375.  (2).  Deposition costs.  (3).  Service of process costs.  (4).  Exhibits, sometimes.

The American Rule of Attorney Fees.

Utah follows the “American Rule” as it pertains to attorney fees.  The “English Rule” is loser pays the winning party’s attorney fees.

Special damages and consequential damages are two ways of naming the damages that occur as a natural consequence of a car accident.   “Special damages” is generally the term used in car accident law (tort law).  “Consequential damages” is typically used to describe contact damages.  Though both are exactly the same.

Common Special Damages Don’t Include Attorney Fees.

Common car accident special damages are:  (1).  Medical bills.  (2). Mileage to and from medical appointments.  (3).  Property damage to your car.  (4).  Lost or destroyed items in your car from the car accident.  (5).  Legal interest on money damages.  (6).  Lost back wages.  (7). Lost future wages.  (8).  Lost future income capacity.

Exceptions Where you Can Get Attorney Fees.

Exceptions to the general American Rule that you can’t get your attorney fees back include:

(1).   Claims for slander of title.

(2).   The third-party litigation exception.

(3).   Certain employment contracts.

(4).   Insurance contracts, bad faith.  Failure to provide coverage.  Breach of implied or express insurance contracts.

(5).  Frivolous, bad faith litigation.

CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY Jake Gunter regularly practices car accident law.  Let his nearly 20 years of experience help you in your car accident case. Call/TXT (801) 373-6345.  Free consultation and we travel to you when needed.