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How Much Does It Cost To File A Lawsuit In Texas?

How much does it cost to file a lawsuit in Texas?

 

Lawsuitforms.org is dedicated to providing self-help legal resources in Texas for people who need to use the civil court system, but cannot afford to hire an attorney.  That said, we do not dispute that having a competent attorney represent you is always preferable to filing or defending your lawsuit alone.  However, the cost to hire an attorney in Texas (as in all other states), is prohibitively expensive.  Professional legal representation is all but out of reach for most people who need to file a lawsuit or defend themselves in civil litigation.

Hourly Rates For Texas Attorneys

As of 2015, the average hourly rate for a Texas attorney is $288! The average cost of an attorney with 2 years or less experience is $200/hr, while the average rate for an attorney with 16+ years of experience is $300/hr.  If you were to pay an attorney the average hourly rate for a case that goes all the way to trial, there is a good chance you would spend more on attorney fees than you would recover from your case!

Furthermore, even if you are okay with paying an attorney their hourly rate, almost every attorney in Texas will want you to deposit a retainer equal to several times their hourly rate.  If the attorney expects to go to trial, a retainer deposit of $10,000, $20,000, or even more would not be unusual.

Contingency Rates For Texas Attorneys

A contingency fee agreement is one where a lawyer agrees to represent you, but will not charge you an hourly rate.  Rather, they will only take a percentage of whatever you recover through settlement or at trial.  Generally speaking, a contingency fee agreement sounds like a good deal for the client.  They don’t have to worry about paying anything out of pocket except the expenses associated with filing a lawsuit (such as filing fees and hiring a court reporter for a deposition), and even these expenses may be advanced by some law firms. 

However, unless you have a slam dunk case where the liability of the defendant is assured, and your damages are significant enough to make the case worth the attorney’s time, you will likely have a hard time finding a lawyer who will take your case.  For example, if you slip and fall in a grocery store and incur $2,000 in medical bills, not many attorneys will be willing to take your case on a contingency basis, just to receive a few hundred dollars.

If you do find an attorney to take your case on a contingency fee basis, you can expect to pay between 33% and 40% in Texas.  Often contingency fee agreements will state that the attorney’s fee is 33% of any funds recovered through settlement before any civil petition is filed.  If filing a civil petition is necessary (that is, the attorney was unable to negotiate a settlement without filing a lawsuit), then the fee usually jumps to 40%, and sometimes more if the case proceeds all the way to trial.

Representing Yourself In Texas

As you can see, the cost of hiring an attorney in Texas makes professional legal assistance out of reach for most people, which is why lawsuitforms.org offers forms and guides that will help people get the justice they deserve.  We currently offer the following Texas lawsuit forms.  Each form pack comes with instructions, samples, and templates.

-Texas Civil Petition Form:  Use these forms if you need to file a lawsuit against someone in Texas District or County Court (Texas’ general civil courts).  Note, you will still need to research the specific elements of your individual claim (such as negligence, battery, discrimination, or wrongful termination).

-Texas Answer To Civil Petition:  Use these forms if you have been sued in Texas District or County Court and need to file a response to the civil petition and citation.

-Texas Request For Production of Documents:  Use these forms if you need to request evidence from the opposing party in a civil lawsuit in Texas.