Richmond, VA asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury

Q: What is the jurisdiction for a hit and run auto accident [driver that caused fled & not found] when it is out of state?

I was in a hit & run motor vehicle accident on the highway while traveling; the driver that caused the accident fled & was not found. The police report says 'hit and run' & this is not in question. My car is registered & insured in a different state, far away. I have heard so many things about jurisdiction. I am not a litigious person but the policy provider-I have uninsured/underinsured coverage, the car was totalled & I sustained injury-has not been good. If I retain counsel I need to be sure to do so in the state with someone who has the proper licensure to bring suit IF necessary. Do I look for counsel in the state the accident happened or the state I am from & the car is registered in/ the policy is in? These states are not bordering each other & thousands of miles apart, not a 'tri-state' area etc. Note: other driver is not being looked for; LE said they were 'long gone'. Amount in controversy exceeds 75k; can plaintiff remove to federal court?

1 Lawyer Answer
Christopher F Allen
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  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA

A: Generally, venue is proper where the accident occurred or where defendant resides. In this case, venue would most likely be proper where the accident occurred since defendant was not found. It’s possible that the lawyer you decide to hire may be able to locate defendant’s whereabouts. At that point, multiple jurisdictions could be applicable.

It should be noted that in situations where plaintiff and defendant reside in different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, defendant may remove the case to Federal Court. I would suggest that you look for counsel in the state where the accident occurred to start. I would also inquire with counsel regarding whether they have experience litigating in Federal Court if necessary.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

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