Question: I was involved in a very serious car accident that involved three cars. The accident happened in my hometown. However, one of occupants of the other car was injured and is from Dallas, which is about 12 hours away from where I live. What are the chances that I would have to deal with a personal injury case in Dallas in order to recoup my injuries?
Robert’s Answer: The issue your are talking about is called “venue.” Venue is the legal term for where a lawsuit is filed. Texas has a body of statutes and rules governing where a lawsuit may be filed in any particular type of case. In a personal injury case, venue is proper in either the county of the defendant’s residence or in the county where the accident happened. The county of the plaintiff’s residence is not a basis for venue.
So, to answer your question, you do not have to worry about travelling to Dallas unless it is a place of proper venue. Since Dallas is merely the residence of a potential plaintiff, venue would be in the county where the accident happened.
A suit may also be filed in the county of the defendant’s residence. If the defendant lives in another county, then that county would also have proper venue. Now, you would have a choice of where to file the suit: Either in the county where the accident happened or in the county of the defendant’s residence. Sometimes filing the suit in another county is better depending on the types of judges in that county as well as the potential jury pool.