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Factors to Consider When Deciding Where to File Your Lawsuit

By December 15, 2016October 22nd, 2018Personal Injury
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Experienced Attorneys Can Help Victims Choose the Right Court for Filing Personal Injury Claims in St. Louis

You know that you have a valid lawsuit, but now you have the task of deciding where to file your lawsuit. Most plaintiffs are unaware that there are different options for filing, which is why it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney assesses the critical factors to decide which venue and county represents your best interests.

What an Attorney Considers First

First, your attorney will think about the main factors. These help determine which county to file the suit in, and include:

  • Where did the accident or injury occur? Your attorney considers the location of the injury/accident first. If the area is close to your home, your attorney may choose to file in the area of the accident versus in your or the defendant’s residence.
  • Where does the defendant currently live? If your attorney feels it is best, he or she may file the lawsuit in the county where the defendant lives.
  • Where do you currently reside? Sometimes, the injury location and the defendant’s location are too far or too difficult for you to attend regular hearings for your case. Therefore, your attorney may file the lawsuit in your county. This allows you to avoid financial losses associated with traveling to the courthouse.

These are starting points for your attorney, but are not the last (or only) considerations that he or she will make before filing the lawsuit.

Deciding Between State and Federal Civil Courts

In addition to location, your attorney must decide between filing in federal or state courts.

Usually, most lawsuits that are applicable for federal court can be filed in state court. However, some claims eligible for state filings are not eligible for federal filings.

Your attorney will go through a practice known as “forum shopping.” This allows your attorney to weigh the pros and cons of federal and state court – which helps him or her determine which venue is best for your case’s outcome. Some items that your attorney may address include the jury panels that are likely to be found for each court in each location.

Your attorney will also consider the federal versus state court judges. Some judges are more favorable to defendants than others, while others are more favorable to plaintiffs.

Naturally, your attorney wants a court that increases the likelihood that the outcome will sway in your favor – which would mean receiving maximum compensation for your injuries.

It is in Your Best Interest to Speak with an Attorney

The process of choosing which county and which court to file your lawsuit in is a critical one. Therefore, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to better assess your options. With so many options for filing your lawsuit, you need to ensure that you file in the right location to increase your odds of success. It takes years of experience to weigh these factors – and an attorney has that experience.

Get started on the process by contacting the team at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law today at 877-678-3400 for your free consultation. Or, submit our convenient online contact form with your questions.