You must typically file the lawsuit in the county where the accident or injury occurred. In most cases, this is referred to as the “venue” or “jurisdiction.” Nevertheless, depending on the kind of Texas personal injury claim, there can be exclusions or particular guidelines to follow based on local rules.
It is typically customary to bring the case in the county where the incident happened if it took place in a certain city. For instance, you would most likely bring the claim in Dallas County if the damage happened in the Dallas city limits.
Remember that the proper county for filing the lawsuit may differ if the parties are from different counties or if the case involves unique circumstances. It is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to receive individualized guidance on the best county to file your particular injury claim.
Getting Texas Personal Injury Claims
The most current and correct information regarding your situation should be obtained from a Texas-licensed attorney because laws might change over time. They will be able to help you navigate the legal system and assist you in making decisions regarding your injury claim.
Numerous Texas personal injury claims are resolved amicably without going to court. However, there are some situations where the only effective way to resolve a matter is through litigation. The plaintiff must choose which of Texas’s 254 counties to file a lawsuit in if they choose to litigate in state court in Texas.
The place where a lawsuit is filed and heard in court is referred to as the “venue” in law. According to the following formula, the plaintiff (i.e., the injured party) must file a lawsuit in a court with a “proper venue” in Texas:
- If a required venue clause is present, the plaintiff must file in the county designated by the clause.
- The venue is appropriate in accordance with the general venue rule or, if one exists, a permissive venue clause.
- The majority of automotive third-party claims are covered by the Texas general venue rule. Venue is appropriate in the following counties under the general venue rule:
- In the county where all or a substantial portion of the events or omissions giving rise to the Texas personal injury claim occurred;
- If the defendant is a natural person, in the county of the defendant’s residence at the time the Texas personal injury claim accrued;
- If the defendant is not a natural person, in the county of the defendant’s principal office in Texas;
- If no other provision applies, in the county where the defendant is located.
- In rare cases, the plaintiff may have the choice to choose among various counties with the right of venue when bringing a Texas personal injury claim. Let’s take the scenario of an incident in Cameron County brought on by the carelessness of a driver from Hidalgo County. In that case, the plaintiff has the choice of filing a lawsuit in either Hidalgo County, the defendant’s home county, or Cameron County, the county where the incident took place.
Choosing County for Your Texas Personal Injury Claim
Making the decision to bring a Texas personal injury claim lawsuit—and selecting the appropriate venue from among several counties—requires more art than skill. This choice necessitates acquaintance with the population, judges, regional laws, and other factors of the location.
You already have a lot on your mind if a careless driver hurt you or a loved one. Do not let one of them be dealing with the insurance provider. So that you may concentrate on getting your life back to normal, we handle the insurance company. You only have one shot to get it right, so pick the best lawyer when you can.
For a free consultation and case review, to be certain your case is filed in the best venue to get you the best outcome, contact us at (903) INJURED / (903) 465-8733 or (903) ABOGADA / (903) 226-4232 or submit your case for a free case review.
Texas Personal Injury Claims Are Heard in Courts
District courts at the state level; a possible federal court, based on jurisdiction and diversity; and, if necessary, appellate courts
One morning, our client left his home in his car headed to work. A large truck smashed into his side as she was turning onto the highway, sending his car careening into a wall.
Our client awoke in the hospital, struggling to turn his head and with pain shooting down his right leg.
In Texas, many people experience situations similar to Our client’s, and they file personal injury lawsuits.
Courts work to uphold the rights of injured parties. However, the Texas court system is complicated. If you intend to use it, you must be aware of the difficulties you will face.
Where in Texas Should I File a Texas Personal Injury Claim?
A state-level district court will normally hear personal injury cases first. A trial court will decide if a person has a claim and how to proceed with the case.
Although you do have the choice to file your claim on your own, it will be in your best interest to hire a licensed and experienced personal injury attorney.
Your claim will be created by your attorney. For instance, they can contend that another motorist was careless or that a car manufacturer made a significant design mistake. In any case, the initial claim will be filed in district court, where your attorney will decide where to take the case from there.
Should I File in Federal Court?
Even if there is no Texas personal injury claims that implicates federal law, some civil lawsuits may end up in federal court. Personal jurisdiction is a legal concept that leads to cases being heard in federal district court. The reaches of various judges and court levels vary. (Nolo does a fantastic job of providing examples to help clarify.)
A matter also qualifies for federal jurisdiction when it exhibits diversity. For instance, if the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and you are suing a person or business situated in another state, you will meet the diversity criteria of the Act qualifying for federal court jurisdiction.
The Texas Legal System & Texas Personal Injury Claims
Court Organization in Texas, 2022.
This type of diverse jurisdiction is based on the principle that no one should benefit from having a home-field advantage. It might be unjust for the case to be heard by a state jury in a Houston courtroom if you are from Houston and the opposing party is from Chicago, for example.
Diversity jurisdiction seeks to ensure that each party is treated equally and that neither side is given an advantage because they are from the other’s homeland.
It’s useful to know that Texas has both plaintiff- and defendant-friendly areas.
You should be aware that not all Texas jurisdictions handle personal injury cases similarly.
Texas Personal Injury Claim Example
For instance, in the Rio Grande Valley, where juries have a history of awarding injured parties greater damages, vehicle accident lawyers typically perform better.
Some people believe that these regions of the state, such as Houston and Dallas, are friendlier to defendants and companies.
In the Rio Grande Valley, car accidents could result in larger payouts for damages. Dallas and Houston are friendlier to corporations and defendants.
This does not imply that someone will always triumph in McAllen while failing to triumph in Dallas. Simply said, the location of your trial can occasionally affect how your case turns out.
Let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that the plaintiff lives in Houston, Texas, and the case involves an automobile accident. Although the accident occurred in Galveston, Texas, the defendant lives in El Paso, Texas. Which local Texas court will hear the case if Texas state law is applicable since the case does not satisfy the federal diverse jurisdiction requirements?
You cannot just choose the location of your trial. These are three general rules that apply to jurisdiction when dealing with Texas personal injury claims that do not satisfy the standards of diversity jurisdiction:
- Situs refers to the country or region where the harm occurred.
- The defendant’s place of abode, or residence
- The plaintiff’s domicile, or where you call home
The defendant may be targeted by the plaintiff in Harris County. As a Harris County resident who also pays Harris County taxes, the plaintiff would benefit the most from this.
But the defendant presumably wouldn’t want to leave the convenience of his El Paso County home. The defendant would receive better treatment if he were an El Paso County resident and tax payer.
In this case, the defendant has the choice to submit a move for forum non conveniens. The defendant can inform the court that it is an unfair place to hear this matter using this Texas civil process technique. In the interest of justice, the court will consider a number of issues, including the defendant’s mobility inside Texas from El Paso to Houston.
Recognize which Texas regions are favorable to plaintiffs or defendants.
Since forum non-conveniens are frequently granted in the defendant’s favor, the plaintiff could have to file a lawsuit against the defendant in the defendant’s home court.
Why some of the simplest court cases take so long is a common question. The argument about whether jurisdiction would be best to try the case is a major contributing factor.
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure provide guidance to lawyers on where and how to file cases. They have to abide by these guidelines or risk losing your case. This is a fantastic reason to choose a lawyer who is familiar with the process.
Where Do Texas Cases Go To Appeal a Decision After a Trial?
District courts in the state are often where cases are tried. You will have two opportunities to challenge a jury judgment in Texas’s appellate system if your case was decided in one of those state court settings and you need to appeal it.
You will initially be allowed to file a lawsuit at the court of appeals level. By doing this, you will be contesting the trial’s procedure rather than the jury’s verdict. You’ll argue that the trial jury erred or that a certain procedural requirement was broken. The goal of these appeals is to have the matter remanded to the trial court for additional proceedings by the appellate court.
There is an additional level in the Texas appellate system, which makes it distinct.
Consider the likelihood that you could be unsuccessful on your first appeal as well as at trial. Although you and your attorney put a lot of effort into the case, the jury found in the defendant’s favor, and the appellate court ruled that your trial was fair.
You could submit a petition to the state Supreme Court in this situation. Although this is the state’s highest court, they are not required to hear your case. They can decide if your situation raises a particular problem that has to be dealt with.
The Texas Supreme Court takes on a very modest number of cases. If yours is, you will have the opportunity to present your case both orally and in writing. Appellate courts occasionally permit attorneys to present their cases in person.
The System of Federal Appeals
You still have the option to appeal your case if you lose in federal court, thanks to your Texas personal injury claim.
Sometimes, a matter must advance through the federal appellate court system for several months or even years. Of course, the Supreme Court of the United States sits at the very top of that hierarchy. You shouldn’t anticipate that court to hear your case because it only accepts a few appeals.
Recognize the variables that may affect the length of time needed to complete a typical Texas personal injury claim case.
You should be aware that each lawyer has a unique set of abilities. Finding the best attorney to represent you in a jury trial is crucial. The ability to convince jurors to stand with you and sympathize with your injuries is a specialty of good lawyers.
Appellate attorneys persuade judges rather than jury members. You will want to make sure that the person you hire has that particular skill set because these people write a lot more than they speak.
People with Texas personal injury claim cases can receive justice through the Texas court system. If you’ve been harmed, you should look for a reputable attorney in Texas to assist in pursuing your Texas personal injury claims.
Lindsey McKay, licensed, experienced Texas personal injury claim attorney can assist you in navigating the occasionally challenging state and federal court systems.