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Where Will My Car Accident Lawsuit Be Filed?

Posted on - Monday, February 2, 2015 under Car Accident, FAQ

Car accidents can happen anywhere. You could get hit by a careless driver while you are pulling out of your driveway here in Georgia, or you could get in an accident with a tractor-trailer on an interstate thousands of miles from your home. The negligent driver who injured you could live down the block or live on the other side of the country.

When you want to file a lawsuit to recover damages, where do you file your suit if either the accident happened or the defendant lives far from where you live?

Where a lawsuit is filed is called the “venue,” and there are rules that govern where personal injury lawsuits can and should be filed.

  • Georgia accident between Georgia residents. For accidents that happen in Georgia between two Georgia residents, the lawsuit will be filed in the county where the defendant lives, regardless of where in Georgia the accident occurred.
  • Georgia accident with an out-of-state defendant. If the driver who hit and injured you while driving in Georgia is from out-of-state, you have two choices of venue. You can either sue in the Georgia county where the accident happened or in the county in which you live. Under the “Georgia Non-Resident Motorist Act” (O.C.G.A. § 40-12-1), drivers who use Georgia roads are deemed to have appointed the Georgia Secretary of State as their agent to accept service of the summons and complaint in any lawsuit arising out of a car accident in the state.
  • Georgia accident with a Georgia company’s vehicle. If you were injured by a truck or other vehicle and want to sue the company that owns that vehicle, you can file your suit in the county where the accident occurred if the company does business in that county, or you can sue in the county where the company has its registered office in Georgia.
  • Out-of-state accident with out-of-state driver. If you are driving in another state and you get in an accident with a driver from that state or any state other than Georgia, your lawsuit will likely need to be filed in either the county where the accident occurred or where the other driver lives.

In cases where venue is proper in more than one place, the decision as to where to file a personal injury suit is an important one, as different counties may have reputations as being either more or less friendly to plaintiffs seeking compensation for injuries. An experienced Georgia car accident attorney will know and understand the venue options and choose the venue that gives you the best chance of a successful outcome in your case.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Georgia car accident, The Parian Law Firm practices personal injury law exclusively and is ready to pursue the compensation and justice you need and deserve. Please give us a call at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.