You take your family on a trip to visit their grandparents in Illinois. It’s just a weekend trip, but it suddenly has a major impact on your life when your vehicle is involved in an accident. You or others in your car suffer injuries in this accident, which was caused by the driver in the other vehicle.
You know that you can file an auto accident claim and you can start a lawsuit to seek compensation. But you’re not from Illinois, so do you need to return home and file in your home state? Or do you need to file it in the court in Illinois?
You generally file where the incident occurred
As a general rule, you’re going to file a personal injury lawsuit in a court that has jurisdiction in the area where the injuries took place. This means that you wouldn’t drive back to Michigan or Ohio, if that’s where your trip started. You can file that lawsuit in Illinois because the court there is going to have jurisdiction.
There are instances when you can file in your home state. For instance, maybe the driver who hit you was working for a company that operates in your home state. But, in a typical situation where you’ve just been hit by a resident of Illinois, that means you’re going to file your lawsuit in Illinois.
Do you need a local law firm?
When you do decide to seek compensation, you may want to think about hiring a local law firm, rather than one near home. For one thing, they may be more familiar with the court system and the authorities in the area. When they know local parties and have a reputation, it makes it easier for them to work through this quickly.
Additionally, because they are close to the accident, they may be better at carrying out the investigation. It will be easier to contact the police to get a copy of their police report, for example.
What steps should you take next?
If you’re facing high medical bills and other costs, you definitely need to know how to act. Be sure you understand all of your legal rights and the steps you need to take to seek proper compensation.