fbpx
skip navigation

Texas laws already protect insurance industry

Gov. Rick Perry’s proposals for Texas’ legal system would help his insurance company contributors further increase their profits on the backs of those least able to help themselves after being injured by others’ negligence — and limit the already small recoveries available to plaintiffs in Texas.

Perry recently called for lawsuit “losers” to pay their opponents’ legal expenses and for an “early dismissal” option to get rid of “frivolous” suits. He said these components would help the state’s legal and economic climate.

But if the governor believes that Texas needs an early-dismissal option and expedited trials with limited discovery for claims between $10,000 and $100,000, he is not familiar with our court system. We’ve had both for years.

Rule 190 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure covers expedited trials. We already have three levels of cases to expedite things. Should we spend more money to add more layers?

Defending cases between $10,000 and $100,000 in Texas now costs very little. Many are defended by salaried insurance company employees with nominal costs to the company. Many are handled on fixed fees, some for as little as $2,000-$3,000 for the entire case.

In Tarrant County, cases involving $10,000 to $100,000 go to County Courts at Law and can get a trial setting in less than a year. The judges should be commended for moving cases fairly and efficiently.

Insurance companies and defendants want attorney fees awarded for frivolous claims by injured people. No problem. But fairness goes both ways: How about attorney fees awarded to the injured for frivolous, fraudulent or false defenses? Insurance lawyers routinely file defenses and make claims that can never be proved. Defendants waste too much time in litigation by stalling, delaying and making frivolous defenses. Insurance defendants and corporate defendants should pay attorney fees to the injured person so the playing field is level for both sides.

Again the governor misleads Texans or doesn’t know the rules.

Texas already has an “offer of settlement” rule, Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 42, which provides for attorney fees. This rule is one-sided because the insurance company or defendant must invoke the rule. It has some fairness because it allows the plaintiff to make a counter-proposal to the insurance company’s usually low offer. The rule is rarely invoked: I haven’t seen it in one of my cases in 10 years.

Perry wants to make it more one-sided, kind of like going to a fight and making the injured person tie one hand behind his back. That is not fair, and that is not what Texas stands for.

Another proposal discusses the feared cliche of a frivolous lawsuit. Insurance companies and defendants already receive protection from frivolous lawsuits under Rules 13 and 169a, and Chapters 9 and 10 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Truly frivolous cases rarely make it to trial. My experience tells me that no “frivolous” case in the past 10 years has made it past a Texas trial judge or reached a judgment where the frivolous case won anything.

The majority of Republican judges in Texas do not believe that there is a problem with frivolous cases.

The government already has the ability to appeal cases before trial to try to get them dismissed. This actually leads to delays and runs up costs to the injured person. As taxpayers pay the government lawyers’ salaries, this delay isn’t a problem for the government; it’s the consumer who faces years of waste on preliminary appeals.

Say “No” to more tort reform and “Yes” to deficit reduction/better education. Texans have been hurt enough by insurance company greed. Let’s focus on education so we can understand the Rules of Court.


Representing Victims And Families
since 1982

Our attorneys are happy to accommodate difficult schedules. We can meet you in the early morning or late afternoon hours.

We can even schedule appointments on the weekends. We are also available to meet you at home or in the hospital if you do not have transportation, or if your injury doesn’t allow you to travel.

What We Offer Clients And Their Loved Ones:

Initial consultations on personal injury cases are always free.
You do not pay us unless we win your case on personal injury cases.
We`re available to answer your legal questions.
We can be an advocate for your loved ones.
Help provide families with resources and advice.
Resolve automobile property damage claims.
Help you find a doctor, even if you don`t have insurance.
We can deal with the insurance companies.

Free Consultation

Over 40 Years of Experience

Contact Form