Chris Thayer Seattle Personal Injury Attorney
(206) 340-2008
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland. I am here to help you. I have developed this website to provide information about me, the services my law firm provides, and to give the consumer some basic background information and resources relating to personal injury claims in Washington state.

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Which Court Should You File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit In?

Posted Saturday, May 27, 2017 by Chris Thayer

Which Court Should You File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit In?

There are two important questions to ask before filing your personal injury lawsuit:

Does the court have jurisdiction over your claims?Are you filing your lawsuit in the proper venue?

An experienced personal injury attorney will know the answers to these questions, but it’s also helpful to have a basic understanding of them yourself.

What Is Jurisdiction?

If a court has jurisdiction over your claims, that means it has the legal authority to make a decision in your case. There are two types of jurisdiction: subject matter and personal. Subject matter jurisdiction means the court has the authority over a particular type of claim. For example, in Washington, district courts have jurisdiction over personal injury claims that don’t exceed $100,000 (not including attorney’s fees). So if you are seeking damages for $30,000 worth of injuries then you would file your lawsuit in district court.

Personal jurisdiction is a court’s power over particular parties. Courts only have personal jurisdiction over parties who have certain contacts with that forum. For example, if you live in Seattle, then a district court in King County would have jurisdiction over your claims, unless they involved another party who had absolutely no connection to King County (determining whether the court has subject matter or personal jurisdiction can require extensive litigation).

What Is Venue?

Venue is the place where a case is heard. More than one court might have jurisdiction over your personal injury claims (for example, the district court in the county where you live as well as the district court in the county where the accident took place), but there might only be one or two proper venues.

In fact, Washington has particular rules for determining the proper venue for a particular legal action. Personal injury claims should be brought in the county in which the accident occurred or the county in which the defendant resides. If there is more than one defendant involved then the proper venue is a county in which any of the defendants resides.

What happens if your personal injury lawsuit is against a corporation? For example, if you were injured because of a defective product then you might sue the manufacturer of that product, but where? Washington plaintiffs have four options:

Sue the corporation in the county in which the tort was committed (where the injury occurred).Sue the corporation in the county where the work was performed (i.e., where the product was manufactured).If a contract is at issue, sue the corporation in the county where the agreement was entered into.Sue the corporation in the county where it has its corporate residence.

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When you have multiple venue options, it often comes down to strategy: Where is the best place for you to file your personal injury lawsuit? An experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that your personal injury lawsuit is filed in the proper court so that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.

Chris Thayer Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

For more information, or to schedule an initial, no obligation consultation and case evaluation, please call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 or complete the contact form below:

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