In a court case, the defendant, the person accused, has rules dictating where he/she can be sued. If you’re injured in another state, in which state do you file a lawsuit? Do you file it where the accident happened, where you live, or where the defendant lives? Let’s look at each case.
Where to Sue if Injured in Another State
- Where the injury took place – This means both the state and country where the accident happened. To sue the person, business, or entity liable for your injuries, the state must have jurisdiction over that said entity. State courts will generally have jurisdiction over defendants causing injuries in their own state, regardless of whether the defendant is from there.
- Defendant’s home state – A state has jurisdiction over all citizens residing within its limits. When you file a lawsuit in another state, you have to travel to that state. If an accident occurred in, say, California, but you are from Mississippi and the defendant is from Alabama, this could be a good option for you. It’ll be easier for you to drive next-door than have to fly back to California.
- Plaintiff’s home state – Only in the case that the above to options are unavailable is your home state a viable option for the lawsuit. For it to be usable, your attorney needs to produce “compelling interest” for why your home state is of importance. Say, for instance, most of the witnesses to the injury live in your home state. That would likely count as compelling evidence.
Even If you were injured out of state, you should still contact your Louisiana lawyer. This way, you can see your local attorney in person and have them contact a law firm in the state you were injured. It doesn’t cost more to use two law firms in separate states, so there’s no reason not to.
Galloway Jefcoat, LPP is a Louisiana personal injury law firm that fights for victims of car crashes, workplace accidents, and other forms of negligence or injury. We have contacts around the country we can partner with to protect you, wherever your accident takes place.