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If I Was Injured In An Illinois Car Accident, But Live Out Of State, Can I Still Sue In Illinois

Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.
Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.

March 23, 2014

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Yes, if your car accident took place in Illinois, you can sue in Illinois and that may be your only choice. You must file your lawsuit in the court which has jurisdiction over your case. So, you always have the option of suing in the state where the accident occurred, and under certain circumstances you can file in Federal court instead. You should talk to an Illinois car accident attorney about your options and what to expect.

State Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction is the court’s authority to hear a case. If you file your lawsuit with a court that does not have jurisdiction over your case, the case will have to be moved to a court which does, and the delay involved could push you past the time limit for filing, called the statute of limitations, resulting in your case being thrown out altogether.

The state court in the county in which your accident occurred has jurisdiction over your case. So, if you want to sure in Illinois, even though you live in another state, you are in luck because from a legal standpoint that is the simplest choice.

Federal Jurisdiction

If you don’t want to sue in Illinois, you may have the option of suing in Federal court. Your case must meet two conditions

  • You are asking for more than $75,000 in damages
  • You and the defendant reside in different state

There has to be what is called “diversity of citizenship” which can be complicated in some cases. Your attorney can determine if you have the option of filing in Federal court and whether or not that is in your best interest.

If you have questions about Illinois car accident lawsuits, call us today at (312) 313-2888.

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