I WASN'T AWARE I WOULD HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING UPON LOSING. IS THIS TRULY WHAT HAPPENS? I THOUGHT MY LAWYER WOULD TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING.
You might have been ordered to pay costs in the action. Talk to your attorney.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
This is happening more and more here in the US. We are generally not a "loser pays" country. However, the insurance industry has made great inroads in this area by repeatedly pushing the canard that such a practice will curb frivolous lawsuits (summary judgment does a great job of weeding them out already). In reality, what loser pays does is limit access to the courts for poor and even most middle class working people. They cannot afford to risk a jury finding against them, so they will refrain from bringing even the most meritorious claims. Only people who can afford an anomalous losing jury finding will bring suits under loser pays. I can envision the Swiftian debtors prison populated solely by those who have lost civil actions. It's not a pretty site. Now, the granting of court costs is usual and customary and reasonable.
We are serious lawyers for the seriously injured. I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer are not legal advice. These opinions are thoughts based on New York practice. We have no attorney-client relationship. Conducting a conversation with me through the avvo comments section does not create an attorney-client relationship. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Court costs are routinely awarded against the losing party in civil court. At least under the American rule parties are responsible for their own attorneys' fees, otherwise the amount would be substantially higher. Depending upon your fee agreement with your lawyer, you may also be contractually liable for costs advanced by your attorney. Under most contingent fee contracts it is fees that are contingent upon a successful outcome, with costs advanced recoverable in any event. Read your fee agreement again, and then if you still have questions, schedule a time to discuss them with your attorney.
This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the specifics of the case.
Criminal Defense Attorney
As noted, a jury trial in the civil field can impose certain statutory costs on the losing party. When discussing any settlement, that should be reviewed between client and attorney. Although the defendant would have had to pay actual attorney fees and out of pocket costs to his/her/its attorney, in Wisconsin, the losing party can be held accountable to reimburse attorney fees up to $500 (with some exceptions) as well as certain statutory costs, such as deposition costs, witness fees, etc. You should review this with your attorney to determine if amounts claimed are accurate, as they are subject to objection before court approval