What is a Venue?
The location where your case will take place is called the venue. Venue is crucial in personal injury lawsuits, yet it is often neglected. Choosing the proper venue, including the appropriate county, is essential in filing a personal injury claim. There may be only one possible courthouse to file at, or you may have a few options.
While jurisdiction and venue are connected, they are not identical. The term “jurisdiction” refers to the court’s authority to hear your case. For example, the local Municipal Court, the State Court’s county branch, or the regional Superior Court may have the authority to do so.
In Georgia, each county is home to its own State Court. Still, only a select few of those courts will really have jurisdiction over your specific case.
How Do I Know Which Court to Go to in Georgia?
In Georgia, most personal injury and workers’ compensation lawsuits are tried in State Court, so filing in the correct county is essential. For example, you could file in:
- The county where the accident occurred, in any case involving an accident
- The county where the defendant resides
- The county where the defendant does business or has their office
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know which venues are available to you.
Can I Choose the Venue I Want?
Yes, your lawsuit may be accepted by multiple venues, and you will be free to pick which court to file in. However, before deciding on a location, you should always consult with an experienced local personal injury attorney.
You’ll need legal advice because the outcome could be substantially different depending on the venue, especially if your case goes to trial.
For instance, awards from jurors in rural counties are typically lower than those handed down by juries in metropolitan areas like Atlanta.
Your attorney will be able to advise you on which venue will give you the best chance of winning or will yield the highest settlement.
When Should I Request a Change of Venue?
There are multiple scenarios in which judges will approve a change of venue:
- If it’s more convenient for witnesses to attend the hearing in another location
- The publicity surrounding your case has already influenced potential jurors in your area
- You and the opposing party have agreed to have the case tried in a different court
Sometimes there is only one possible venue to file, but you can ask to have it moved if necessary. Likewise, the other party (the defendant) can also request to have the venue moved. You do this by filing your complaint in the most convenient available venue and submitting a motion to transfer venues.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured in an accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!
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