Did you know that when you file a lawsuit for personal injury claims, your case could end up in federal court?
Typically, it’s the opposing party (the defendant) that tries to switch the venue from state to federal court. They might do this for one of several reasons.
Why do lawyers try to move personal injury lawsuits from state to federal court?
Several factors are at play when lawyers ask judges to move their cases from state to federal court. These include:
- Federal courts have a reputation for being “friendlier” for defendants — Forum shopping is a common practice for lawyers who want the best possible deal for their clients. Some defense lawyers believe that their clients will have a better shot in federal court than in state court, that judges and juries on the federal bench are “more forgiving” than a state court.
- Trying to avoid a large jury award — Some states have damages caps, or limits to how much money a jury can award a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit. There are some counties in the United States with a tendency to have very high jury awards. In locales with those reputations, lawyers will push to move the case to federal court because the jury is pooled from a much bigger geographical area.
- Federal court rules — Some lawyers, particularly ones who mostly deal with large corporations and multi-state cases, are more familiar with federal court and the different set of rules that accompany it. Those lawyers will push to move cases to federal court because they are better versed in that arena, but they also do it because it could throw the plaintiff’s attorney off if he or she is accustomed to practicing in state court and the rules that go along with it.
- Faster resolution — It’s been said that federal court cases are resolved more quickly than civil cases in state court. For lawyers, that saves time and money, and it could be one reason why they are working to have cases moved to federal court.
There’s no easy answer on whether to file your personal injury lawsuit in federal court or state court. That’s why it’s so important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can best determine which venue will get you the most money.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.