Why Does It Matter Where I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The county, or venue, in which you file a personal injury lawsuit can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Certain New York City venues have a history of proving favorable to the plaintiffs in a jury trial.
New York City consists of five boroughs, but The Bronx and Brooklyn are considered the better venues for settlements and jury awards for plaintiffs. However, much will depend upon the nature of the claim. While there are better venues for certain types of cases, this can only be discerned after an attorney looks into the case. The plaintiff’s lawyer chooses this for the client.
A New York City Personal Injury Lawyer at Douglas and London will ensure the right venue is selected for your claim. We have a presence in all five boroughs.
In 2017, the law changed so a plaintiff could now bring a lawsuit in the county where they or the defendant resided, or where the personal injury took place. Formerly, the latter was not a consideration. For example, if the plaintiff lived in Brooklyn, the defendant in Queens, and the accident occurred in Manhattan, only the first two venues were a possibility. Now, all three boroughs are potential venues. You and your legal counsel can discuss the merits of each.
Keep in mind that your residence and the defendant’s residence are the locations at the time the lawsuit commences. It is not where the parties lived at the time of the incident. If the individual has more than one residence, only the primary one applies. When the defendant is a business, there are potentially several venues from which to choose. A company might have its main offices in one venue but does business in others. Your attorney will look for the one with the most benefit to your case.
All sorts of practical reasons come into play when choosing a venue. If the accident took place in Manhattan, and there were eyewitnesses, it is far more likely that they will agree to testify in a Manhattan trial than in Brooklyn or Queens. If the plaintiff suffered serious injuries, or there are other accessibility issues or reasons to keep travel to a minimum, the plaintiff’s home borough may prove the best choice.
Action Against the City
If the action involves the city, then the proper venue is the borough in which the action’s cause took place. For example, if you were injured on a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus in Manhattan, but you reside in Brooklyn, you must file the Notice of Claim in Manhattan. If the cause of action occurred outside New York City, the venue is New York County, otherwise known as Manhattan.
The defendant’s attorney may determine the plaintiff’s lawyer’s choice of venue is not proper. They may seek a change, but they have only a short time in which to do so.
There are specific reasons why a defense attorney may do this. The most common is when their client no longer lives in the borough where they resided at the time of the event. They may argue that it is not possible to conduct an impartial trial in the chosen venue. There are also situations where it is inconvenient for material witnesses, and the request to change is made.
Contact us for a free consultation
If you suffered a personal injury because of another party’s negligence, the right venue is just one of the many decisions made by your attorney. An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer at Douglas and London will weigh the factors to determine the best one for your case. Schedule a free consultation today by filling out our online contact form or calling or texting.
Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients. Unless you receive compensation, there is no fee, as we work on a contingency basis. Hablamos Español.