Where to File A Trucking Accident Case in Georgia

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Many victims of trucking wrecks do understand that where a case is filed matters. People who suffer serious injuries during a trucking wreck are understandably focused upon healing and then find a trucking lawyer who can assist them with their case. As a trucking injury lawyer practicing in Fulton and Dekalb County, Atlanta, Georgia, I have seen first hand how the county (otherwise known as the venue) where a case is filed may dramatically affect the case. How?

Counties, like states, differ in terms of the socio-economic make-up of their residents. There are “red” and “blue” states and counties. Typically, conservative counties award less money than so-called liberal counties. Importantly, however, you cannot simply choose whichever county you want. The Georgia Constitution and subsequently-enacted statutes mandate where a citizen can file any lawsuit, including a personal injury action.

Generally speaking, residents of Georgia must be sued “where they reside.” Importantly, many lawyers do not know that trucking companies are frequently subject to being sued in the county where the accident happened. If the trucking company is an intra or inter-state motor common carrier, they are subject to suit in the county where their driver caused the wreck. Note that, for example, a Home Depot truck carrying supplies from one Home Depot to another would not fall within this statute because that truck would not qualify as a common carrier in that instance.

Clients are frequently surprised by the analysis that must go into the decision regarding where to file a lawsuit. There are numerous considerations, including but not limited to: is the defendant driver/trucking company well-known and/or well-liked within the county; how long has the plaintiff lived in the county; how quickly can the plaintiff expect to get her case to trial; are the juries in the venue known to be reasonable with monetary awards; etc.

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