Personal injuries happen all the time, often when you least expect them. In some cases, these unfortunate situations may arise while you are outside of your home state. If you were injured while in the State of Indiana, you may have questions about how this changes your path to recovery.
The legal determiner for where you should file your suit when you are injured out-of-state is known as jurisdiction. Jurisdiction depends on the subject matter of the case as well as the parties that are involved in the case. If the person or entity that you intend to sue resides in Indiana, you will probably need to file in Indiana. If, however, they reside somewhere else, the situation may be a little more complicated.
The main takeaway here is that if you were injured while away from home in Indiana, there are options for your monetary recovery. However, you should always have competent and local legal representation on your side during this process. To schedule your first free case evaluation with the Indiana personal injury attorneys at Wruck Paupore, call our offices today at (219) 322-1166.
If you are from a different state but suffered a personal injury while visiting, you may be able to sue in the court of either Indiana or the state that the person who injured you is from. There are complex laws that dictate where your case must be filed, but these options are typically open to you.
The state in which you’ll be able to sue for damages is a matter of “jurisdiction.” Jurisdiction is the power of the government to exercise authority over people and events within its territory. In order for a court within a particular jurisdiction to hear a case, they must have both “subject matter jurisdiction” and “personal jurisdiction.” Subject matter jurisdiction means that the state has jurisdiction over the topic of the case and the relief being sought. Personal jurisdiction is the court’s power over the people involved in a case.
State courts have subject matter jurisdiction over most injury cases. Courts have personal jurisdiction over anyone who lives in the area or voluntarily submits a claim to that court, and they usually have jurisdiction if the issue arose in that court’s area. So, if you were injured by a resident of Indiana while in Indiana, you can bring a suit against the person who injured you in an Indiana court.
However, if the person who injured you is not from Indiana, the state in which you can sue them is determined by the connections they have to the state. In order to be sued in a certain state, a defendant must have a “certain “minimum contacts” in a state. Certain “minimum contacts” is determined on a case-by-case basis. Typically, this threshold is satisfied by various types of activities in the state. Typically, something like operating a store, owning a building, or even driving a car in a state will be enough to allow a lawsuit there. This means you can usually sue companies and businesses that cause your injuries in Indiana, even if their headquarters is in another state, with some rare exceptions.
While you are not required to hire a lawyer to assist with the legal aspects of filing a claim for your injuries, it may be helpful to do so. Personal injury suits can be time consuming, costly, and confusing. The aid of an attorney can make the process smoother, and many find it particularly helpful to have legal representation that is licensed, experienced, and located in the proper jurisdiction and that has demonstrated an ability to win for out-of-state clients.
When seeking to hire a lawyer to help you handle the legal aspects of your injury, it is important to make sure that the attorney is licensed and experienced in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred. It will prove helpful to have a South Bend personal injury attorney with knowledge of the specific nuances of that state and the appropriate steps to take in handling your case in the best manner possible.
You will also want your legal representation to have experience working with out-of-state clients. Many firms do not accept cases involving out-of-state personal injury clients because they may look to avoid having to work with out-of-state insurers and physicians.
Your lawyer should also be aware of issues regarding timing, as certain injuries have time limits within which a suit can be filed. After that time limit has expired, you may be unable to file a claim for your injury. Indiana generally provides two years for personal injury victims to file a lawsuit. The specifics on the statute of limitations (and the exceptions that apply) may be different than your home state, so you will want someone who is already aware of the potential hazards of filing too late.
Finally, you will want your attorney to have a local base of operations. We are able to help out-of-state clients while making their life as easy as possible. It is highly unusual for one of our injury clients to travel back to Indiana during the recovery process. All of the typical activity can be handled electronically without you leaving home. Even if your case required that you provide testimony related to what happened, we routinely take depositions of out-of-state clients via Zoom, allowing most out-of-state clients to complete that part of the process without leaving their home. Our goal is to make the process as simple and easy as possible.
These are just a few of the many reasons why your recovery will be greatly aided by the assistance of a dedicated Indiana personal injury lawyer.
When you reach out to the seasoned Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Wruck Paupore, you can receive your first case evaluation for free. To learn more about our services and what we can do for you, call our offices today at (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.