Unfortunately, accidents are a part of life. They are inevitable and can happen to anyone, even if you are away on vacation in another state. One of the worst experiences you can have is getting into a car accident while vacationing in another state. If you suffer a personal injury, you will certainly want to recover damages for your medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, what do you do if you are unfamiliar with the laws in this other state?
You May Have to Sue in the State Where Your Injury Occurred
If you sustained your personal injury in another state while vacationing, the easiest thing to do is to file a lawsuit in that state. It’s important to know about that particular state’s personal injury laws and rules of the road so that you can prove the other driver was directly responsible for the car accident and your subsequent injuries. You have to sue in that state because the state has jurisdiction over the defendant.
In general, suing the individual who caused the car accident and your injuries in the state in which the accident occurred is the easiest way to get compensation. No matter where in the state the defendant is from, if an accident that resulted in personal injury occurred in that state, the court will have jurisdiction over that person.
It May be Possible to Sue in Your Home State
In some cases, it may actually be possible to sue the person who caused your injury in a car accident in your home state. This can occur if the defendant has minimum contacts with your home state. If the individual has a separate home in your state or conducts regular business there, you may be able to file a lawsuit in your state.
Even if this may be the case, however, it might be more beneficial to file your lawsuit in the state in which your injury occurred while you were on vacation. It depends largely on the specific circumstances and the laws of either state.
Would You Sue in State or Federal Court?
After you have decided which state you will sue in for your personal injury, you must also determine which court is more appropriate for the lawsuit. There is either state or federal court. Generally, federal court will only hear matters that are between parties from different states with damages amounting to at least $75,000 or that involve a federal matter such as federal law or constitutional rights. However, nearly any case that can be filed in federal court can also be filed in state court. The best thing to do is to hire a skilled car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts to advise you about which court is the most appropriate one for which to pursue your personal injury claim.
No matter what state the incident occurred in, if you were injured in a car accident while on vacation of no fault of your own, time is of the essence. You must act immediately so that you can recover the damages. Contact a law firm to have an experienced car accident lawyer represent you in your lawsuit. Your attorney will fight for your rights in court and may be able to get you all the compensation you deserve for your personal injury.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead for their insight into car accident cases.