Can A Personal injury lawyer represent you in another state?Last updated on: November 4, 2022
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While you are on vacation or a work trip in another state, the last thing on your mind is an injury. Unfortunately, people are injured all the time while outside of their state of residence, and questions arise as to where the injured party should seek legal counsel. Do you hire a personal injury attorney near your home, or do you hire an injury lawyer in the state in which the accident occurred?
If you or a loved one was injured in another state, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 988-7063. Ask for a free consultation with experienced personal injury attorney today.
Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Represent You In Another State?
If you prefer to seek legal counsel in your state of residence, it can be more difficult, but not impossible. If your home state attorney is licensed in the state in which the accident occurred, then they can represent your case without any additional steps being taken.
However, if you choose a local personal injury attorney without a license in the accident state, they must apply for a temporary license with that state. When an injury attorney petitions a foreign court for a temporary license, it is called “pro hac vice.” This will grant them permissions to litigate on that case even though they are not licensed within the state. Usually, state law will require an attorney operating on a pro hac vice basis to seek co-counsel with a firm located and licensed within the state.
Why Would I Seek Help From a Lawyer in Another State?
The main reason you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney located in the state or region where the accident took place is because your attorney will be licensed to practice law in the state where the case is likely to go to court. Similarly, the attorney will possess an in-depth knowledge of the state’s laws and a better understanding of the environment surrounding your case. Additionally, choosing a personal injury attorney in the state of the accident can also help your case by being able to utilize the accident lawyer’s personal connections. An injury attorney in the state of the accident may know judges or other key players which can set the tone for your case.
Out of State Lawyers and Jurisdiction
To sue the person, business, or entity responsible for your injuries, you must bring suit in a state that has jurisdiction over that defendant. Jurisdiction can be extremely important because one state’s laws may be more favorable to you than another, especially when it comes to who is at fault for the accident or how much money in damages you may recover. Because the easiest way to satisfy jurisdiction is to bring suit in the state where the accident occurred, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a personal injury attorney located in the state or region where the accident took place.
What Should I Consider When Seeking an Attorney in Another State?
1) The State Where You Bring Suit
Even if you have been injured in another state, you may still be able to bring suit in your state of residence. To do so, the person, business, or entity responsible for your injuries must have a certain kind of connection, known as minimum contacts, to your home state. Typically, such a connection exists if the defendant has purposively availed themselves of the rights and benefits of the laws of that state. Examples include:
- A company that does business with your state of residence
- A person who owns a home in your state of residence
- A person or business who formed a contract in your state of residence
2) Whether You Will Bring Suit in State or Federal Court
After you determine the state(s) in which you can bring suit for your injury, it is also important to consider whether state or federal court is appropriate. Typically, the case will go to state court. For example, if your accident was in Colorado, your case would go to court in Colorado. If your accident was in Texas, your case would be heard before a Texas court.
However, there are some exceptions that may allow your case to be heard in federal court. For instance, if your damages exceed $75,000, and the defendant is from a different state than you, a federal court can hear your case. Similarly, if federal law creates your cause of action, or if you are raising a constitutional issue, a federal court can exercise jurisdiction.
Unless you can bring suit in your state of residence, the federal court will nonetheless be located in the state where the accident occurred. The only difference is that the court will be operating under federal laws, as opposed to state law. In this situation, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a personal injury attorney located in the state or region where the accident took place.
Need Help? Get in Touch With Zinda Law Group Today
The Denver personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group provide nationwide legal representation to accident victims. Our team of injury attorneys are licensed in Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., Arizona, and New Mexico.
If you would like to speak with an injury attorney at our firm, call (888) 988-7063 today to get started with a 100% free consultation. Zinda Law Group operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Our accident lawyers can answer any questions you may have including in which location is best to seek legal counsel. We will provide you with honest answers and can help determine if you may have an injury case, and if so, what to expect. We look forward to speaking with you.