Here’s a question about civil lawsuits that I’ve heard before: if one party sues another party over a motor vehicle accident, and both parties hail from different states, in which state should the lawsuit be filed?
Actually, it’s a trick question. The lawsuit would be filed in the jurisdiction where the auto accident occurred.
A crash which took place this weekend illustrates this scenario. A head-on collision Sunday afternoon on I-474 in Peoria County sent four people to the hospital, including a woman who reportedly sustained life-threatening injuries. About 2:45pm, a man and a woman from Naples, Florida were driving west on I-474 northwest of Peoria when their car crossed over the center median near the Route 6 interchange. That car slammed head-on into an eastbound car which contained a man and a woman from New Windsor, Maryland. (Both pairs of auto occupants share the same surname, but the article does not state whether they were married couples or siblings.)
All of the occupants were transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital after the wreck. But according to the Illinois State Police, the Maryland woman appeared to be the most severely hurt. There’s no word on what caused the car carrying the Floridians to cross over the median. The male driver of that car was cited by police for improper lane usage.
Unless new information emerges, it appears that the Florida man will be held responsible for the injuries to both the man and the woman from Maryland. If they choose to do so, the Maryland victims may file a personal injury lawsuit against the Florida man – but the suit would be filed in Peoria County. This also means that the plaintiffs would be best served by engaging the services of a qualified auto accident attorney who is licensed to practice in the state of Illinois. (If they want, they can also hire a lawyer from their home state as co-counsel in the case.)