Where should I file my personal injury lawsuit? 6 Answers as of February 21, 2012

A person from FL. Was driving her car in TX got hit by another’s car who is from CA. where the civil suit to be filed and why? Who will be the defendant and why?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Either in Texas where accident occurred or Calif where driver lives the decision is based on where the jury results for injury plaintiffs is the most favorable call me if you need assistance.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/13/2011
Allen Murphy Law
Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
Texas or California....where the accident occurred or where the defendant resides. More often than not where the accident occurred, thus, Texas.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/8/2011
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
This is a complex question because it invokes legal issues in multiple different jurisdictions, all of which have their own rules. Answering this question completely would require detailed legal research and gathering of additional facts that would more properly be conducted by an attorney who you have retained. As a generic answer designed solely to give you a starting point, the location of a car accident (in this case Texas) is the most obvious place to file suit, and the least problematic from a jurisdictional standpoint. The driver of the other car was operating a vehicle in Texas so he/she probably cannot complain about being sued there. It is also possible that you could file suit in Florida, but you would probably have difficulty establishing personal jurisdiction over the California driver in Florida. You may be able to develop facts to overcome that problem. You should be able to sue in California (location of the defendant), but that would probably be inconvenient for you especially if you have been treating with doctors in Florida. Where you want to bring suit may also depend on a variety of factors that have little to do with legal rules. Most importantly, you want to bring suit in the venue that has the most traditionally "plaintiff-friendly" juries (areas where jury verdicts tend to favor plaintiffs as opposed to defendants). The proper venue within each state where you can bring suit depends on your jurisdictional theory, which would be different for each state. Between the three states, California has the best chance of being plaintiff friendly, but that is a generality with big exceptions. The defendant would be the driver and/or owner of the vehicle that hit you. In Florida, you can sue both the driver and owner (if different) even without evidence that the owner negligently entrusted the vehicle. I do not know the law of other jurisdictions on this point. Some states allow you to name the insurance company for the other driver/owner as a defendant as well, but Florida is not one. Other possible defendants would include the manufacturer of your vehicle if you suffered enhanced injuries due to design or other flaws. Other potential defendants exist, depending upon specific facts that are not revealed in your question. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible who can research these questions in more detail based upon a detailed interview and gathering of additional facts. Deadlines apply (statutes of limitations) that could bar your suit if you don't act quickly. A lawyer in your area should be able to help you even if you decide to file the case elsewhere. If the case needs to be filed in a different jurisdiction, he or she can involve "local counsel" in whatever location suit is filed.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/21/2012
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
You file the lawsuit where the accident occurred.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
El Dabe Law Firm
El Dabe Law Firm | Edmond El Dabe
Jurisdiction issues are complex and you should seek the advice of an attorney in person. Typically though, you can file in the location where the accident occurred, or in the county where the Defendant lives.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates | Steven R. Kuhn
    The lawsuit can be filed in the place where the accident happened or where the defendant resides. So here it would be Texas or California. I can't say which would be the best place to file since I do not know Texas law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
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