If I’m filing suit for a personal injury, do I need to hire a lawyer in the state where my injury occurred or the state where I live?

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If I’m filing suit for a personal injury, do I need to hire a lawyer in the state where my injury occurred or the state where I live?

I was injured in a slip and fall that occurred at a restaurant in VT. I live in NY. The accident happened in 11/09. I have 2 questions: 1) Do I need to hire a lawyer in VT, or can I hire one in NY; and 2) Is there a statute of limitations that would limit my ability to bring a case since the injury happend over a year ago?

Asked on December 14, 2010 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Oftentimes personal injury claims have a statute of limitations of somewhere between 1 to 4 years depending on the type of injury and what state the accident occured. In typical conflicts of law cases, you would most likely file where the defendant is (where you have jurisdiction over the person) and where the action occurred (where you have jurisdiction over the matter).  A change of venue (changing courts can always be addressed, but more likely than note the law that will be used is Vermont since the accident occurred in Vermont).  If you choose to hire a personal injury lawyer in Vermont (instead of going pro se) understand that you will be responsible for attorney's fees unless you win your case, the state by statute allows attorneys fees be awareded and the court grants that to you. In Vermont, it is generally three years from date of injury but this may be limited as well.   This is of course circumstances have not occurred to toll (delay) the statute of limitations so that you technically have more time to file.


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