Where Will My Lawsuit Be Filed?

If you have been injured by someone else’s behavior in Texas, there may be several different places you can file a lawsuit.

However, if you were injured in Texas, you can usually file your lawsuit in a Texas state district court. Speak to an Texas personal injury attorney to determine the proper place for you to file your lawsuit.

Where You File a Lawsuit May Depend on a Variety of Factors:

  • Where you live
  • Where you were injured
  • Where the person that injured you lives (or where the company that injured you is incorporate or does business)
  • Whether you were injured by a public employee (e.g. CapMetro commercial bus driver)
  • The type of case

Most lawsuits will be filed in either:

  • State District Court
  • Federal court
  • Appellate Court

Knowing the proper place to file a lawsuit is one of the many decisions that an Texas personal injury attorney can help you with. An attorney can also advise you on what injuries you can sue for. A personal injury lawyer will also discuss the facts, evidence and law in your case. Based on that information, a lawyer can offer advice on when and whether to settle a lawsuit.

State Vs. Federal Court for Personal Injury Lawsuits

The two main court systems in the United States are Federal Courts and State Courts.

Most Texas Personal Injury Lawsuits are Filed in Texas State District Court

Most personal injury lawsuits are filed in state court. For example, many Texas auto accident lawsuits would be filed in Texas state district court.

Many laws that involve personal injury (traffic accident laws, civil tort laws) are state laws.

State courts follow mostly laws set up by that state’s lawmakers. They are staffed by judges and officers who were appointed or elected by that state.

When Filing in State Court, You Must Choose the Proper Venue

Even within a state court system like the one in Texas, there are different courts located in the different areas of the state. For example, there are courts in Texas, as well as courts in San Antonio.

Some areas are said to be friendlier to injured victims. Some courts are said to be friendlier to big business. However, just because people say that does not mean it is true. And even if a court has a certain reputation, there is no guarantee it will follow that reputation in deciding your case.

In all these matters, it is best to speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney who can advise you on the proper place under Texas law to file the lawsuit.

Sometimes Personal Injury Cases are Filed in Federal Court

In certain cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed in Federal court.

Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Some lawsuits are filed in Federal court because the injury or dispute involves a right granted under Federal law.

For example, pharmaceutical medicines are regulated by a Federal government agency known as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you were injured by a Federally-regulated drug, you may file your lawsuit in Federal court.

Federal Diversity Jurisdiction for Personal Injury Cases

Other personal injury lawsuits are filed in Federal court if the injured victim and the company that caused the accident are in different states, the victim can sometimes file the lawsuit in Federal court.

In legal terms, this rule is known as diversity jurisdiction. The person suing and the company being sued are diverse because they are from different states.

For a Federal court to have diversity jurisdiction, all of the plaintiffs (the people suing) must live in different states from all of the defendants (people being sued.)

There are some advantages to suing in Federal court. However, Federal court can also be more expensive. It also requires a personal injury attorney with knowledge and experience of Federal law, and how the Federal judicial system functions. Be cautious in selecting an attorney.

Appellate Courts and Texas Personal Injury Lawsuits

When a lawsuit is decided, one side may want to appeal the ruling. This means that side is challenging the ruling and saying the lawsuit was wrongly decided. There are many reasons that a party can try to use to appeal a lawsuit. However, only some of those reasons will be recognized by a court. Both State and Federal judicial systems have Appellate Courts. When a case is decided, the appeal usually stays within the same state or Federal system.

Justinian & Associates Has the Resources and Experience to Represent You in Either State or Federal Court

At Justinian & Associates, our Texas-based personal injury attorneys have over a collective decade of experience in both state and federal courts. We understand both state and Federal  laws and legal systems, and have helped thousands of clients in both large and small cases.

Call, text or email us for an absolutely free consultation with a staff attorney (not a “screener” or a paralegal). Tell us your story, and we will explain your options under the law.

There is no cost or obligation. And unless we win, you pay nothing.