can i counter sue for attorny fees

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can i counter sue for attorny fees

I was sued by someone who my fiance rear-ended. I wasn’t there nor was the car in my name but the other party included me in the law suit which I had nothing to do with. I spent a good amount of money defending my self and the other party ended up dismissing the case before it even went in front of a judge. can I counter sue for the attorney fees I spent.

Asked on January 29, 2018 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is doubtful that you can successfully do this. In the U.S., each party bears its own attorney fees, even when they win, except in a few exceptions which do not apply here. IF you could show that the case was not just incorrect but was filed for improper purposes--e.g. to punish or hurt you; to extort or force you to do something; etc.--you could possibly recover attorney fees or other compensation based on "malicious use of process" or "abuse of process" (different states use different names). But the key is, you have to show improper purpose: merely being wrong as to you--i.e. thinking, until they learned more, that you might be liable--does not let you recover your legal fees, given the general rule that each party pays its own fees even when the case against them was bad or weak.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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