When we are injured, we do not get a say in where we were when the accident occurred. Just because we are on vacation, visiting relatives, or away on business does not mean we are immune from injury. What if you are away from home in another state, and you are injured? Should you seek legal representation from an attorney in your home state or from the state where you were hurt?
The first thing you should look for when choosing a lawyer is their area of practice. Some attorneys only practice personal injury, while others only handle criminal defense. You need to make sure you interview an attorney that is experienced in the area you need and focused on your type of personal injury.
Next, you need to find out where they are licensed to practice law. Each state has their own laws and regulations regarding attorney licensure, and just because an attorney is licensed to practice in one state, it does not necessarily mean they will be licensed to practice in another.
Easiest Is Not Always Best
As long as your attorney of choice is licensed in both states, you can retain an attorney in your home state. This might seem like the better choice initially because you will be closer to the attorney’s office for consultations; however, you may still need to visit the other state for court hearings or other required meetings. Alternately, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer in the state you were injured in because they will be better versed in the nuances of their state’s laws and be more familiar with the courts, judges and opposing counsel, providing you with better and more thorough representation.
Usually, the best choice is to choose a firm in the state where you were injured that handles out-of-state clients. This may be easier said than done; many firms will not take out-of-state clients due to the added costs, such as litigating with out-of-state medical providers. Your attorneys will need to bring your doctors to their state’s courts. Be sure the firm you choose will do this if necessary. Be diligent and do sufficient research to hire an out-of-state attorney. The success of your personal injury claim will depend on it.