If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a catastrophic automobile accident you will need want to be compensated for your injuries. Sometimes it is possible to settle your injury claim outside of court, but it is important to know where you would need to bring a lawsuit if you are unable to reach a settlement. Many insurance companies that deal with the injured victims of negligent people make such small offers that you are forced to file a lawsuit and filing in the wrong place may further delay the resolution of your claim cost you extra money to have it transferred. One of the essential issues in determining where to file your claim is ensuring you file it in the correct Venue. Venue is the county or court in a county where you bring your lawsuit.
Indiana Trial Rule 75 provides guidance on selecting the correct venue.
Trial Rule 75 or the Venue Rule gives us a list of what a re called “preferred venues” which lists ten (10) possible preferred venues or places that you can file the lawsuit. Even though they are listed as one through ten no single venue is preferred over another. Many times insurance companies and their attorneys will try to argue that number one on the list is the “most preferred” and on down the list. That is not the law. On the other hand, if you file in a “preferred venue” and while the case is pending that county is no longer a “preferred venue” for example, if a defendant is dismissed then the case could be transferred to another county that is a preferred venue.
The county where the accident took place can be a preferred venue but so can the County where a Defendant lives, as is the case much of the time when a negligent driver crosses over county lines and causes a car accident in another county. A common misconception is that you can always file a lawsuit in the County where you live regardless of where the accident took place. While the County where the Plaintiff resides can also be a “preferred venue”, that must be considered with the County where the Negligent Defendant lives or the Main Office of the Insurance Company that you are suing as well as the County where the Crash occurred. The reality of the situation is that there can be multiple counties that are considered preferred venues and that can also change as the case progresses.
The best way to avoid Venue Problems with your personal injury case is to hire a lawyer who knows the law. The Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers at The Law Office of William W. Hurst will put their combined 60 plus years of experience at work for you and make sure that your rights are protected. Don’t let the insurance companies tell you where you can file a lawsuit! Alex Limontes from the Law Office of William W. Hurst recently obtained a favorable decision for one of our clients keeping the case in the right County where it was originally filed.