Whenever a serious injury event occurs, victims must contend with a number of distinct struggles. Physical pain, logistical concerns, obstacles to receiving competent medical care and other difficulties are challenging enough when the event happens close to home, but when injuries are suffered out of state, the headaches can increase exponentially. Once the dust begins to settle, thoughts will likely turn to the possibility of pursuing compensation from responsible parties. However, the question remains as to whether it is possible or indeed advisable to file suit in the victim's home state or in the state where the accident took place. Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is ready and willing to assist injury victims involved in accidents outside of Colorado as they begin their quest for fairness and accountability.
Filing Suit Where the Event Took Place
Though it may not always be the plaintiff's first choice, it is generally possible to bring suit in the state where the accidental injury occurred. The reason for this is that the local county or state is almost certain to have jurisdiction over the person, entity or business responsible for the harm sustained. It is generally not even necessary for the prospective defendant to hail geographically from the specific location, provided that the events in question took place there.
Initiating Litigation in the Plaintiff's Home State
In some instances, it is possible for an injury victim to pursue litigation in his or her home state, an option which most would probably prefer, so as to avoid costly and inconvenient travel requirements. This can be done if the potential defendant is deemed to have had “minimum contacts” with the victim's home state. This could mean that the defendant maintains a residence within the state, is a corporate entity that engages in business within the state or is an individual or business involved in contracts formed within the state.
Federal vs State Court
Once the question of which state to select is resolved, it is necessary to consider whether federal court may be a more appropriate forum for a particular injury claim. In order to bring suit in federal court, the parties must have diversity of citizenship, meaning that they are from different states with no less than $75,000 in damages claimed, or the claim must involve a federal question pertaining to constitutional rights, federal statutes or the like.
Deciding Where to File
The choice of jurisdiction for a personal injury claim can be a difficult one to make. While it may be more convenient to file in the plaintiff's home state, the state in which the accident occurred is sometimes actually far more advantageous for a number of reasons. It may be that no damage caps exist in the distant locale. Perhaps the law of that state is drafted in such a way as to favor plaintiffs. Regardless of the specifics of the case, a seasoned personal injury attorney will be able to offer the guidance and insights needed for a plaintiff to make an informed decision about how to proceed.
Aggressive Representation for Injured Coloradans
If you have been injured while away from home, the sense of alarm and panic you surely feel is something we at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal understand all too well. That is why we pledge to carefully explore the facts of your case and help you understand the legal options available. To begin the process of pursuing the financial compensation you and your family deserve, call 303.825.2223.