(a) An insurance carrier whose interest is not actively represented by an attorney in a third-party action shall pay a fee to an attorney representing the claimant in the amount agreed on between the attorney and the insurance carrier. In the absence of an agreement, the court shall award to the attorney payable out of the insurance carrier’s recovery:
(1) a reasonable fee for recovery of the insurance carrier’s interest that may not exceed one-third of the insurance carrier’s recovery; and
(2) a proportionate share of expenses.
(b) An attorney who represents the claimant and is also to represent the subrogated insurance carrier shall make a full written disclosure to the claimant before employment as an attorney by the insurance carrier. The claimant must acknowledge the disclosure and consent to the representation. A signed copy of the disclosure shall be furnished to all concerned parties and made a part of the division file. A copy of the disclosure with the claimant’s consent shall be filed with the claimant’s pleading before a judgment is entered and approved by the court. The claimant’s attorney may not receive a fee under this section to which the attorney is otherwise entitled under an agreement with the insurance carrier unless the attorney complies with the requirements of this subsection.
(c) If an attorney actively representing the insurance carrier’s interest actively participates in obtaining a recovery, the court shall award and apportion between the claimant’s and the insurance carrier’s attorneys a fee payable out of the insurance carrier’s subrogation recovery. In apportioning the award, the court shall consider the benefit accruing to the insurance carrier as a result of each attorney’s service. The total attorney’s fees may not exceed one-third of the insurance carrier’s recovery.
(d) For purposes of determining the amount of an attorney’s fee under this section, only the amount recovered for benefits, including medical benefits, that have been paid by the insurance carrier may be considered.
Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.286, eff. September 1, 2005.