Choosing a Venue For Your Personal Injury Case
The decision of where within New York City to bring your personal injury case is an important one, as it can have tangible consequences regarding applicable law and the amount of money you and your family may be able to recover when you are injured. In a word, justice across the various venues within New York City is not equal; your personal injury attorney must pay careful attention to all available venues and select the available venue that will give your case an edge in court. Under the law, when the term “venue” is used, it refers to the court in which a case is brought.
HOW IS A PROPER VENUE DETERMINED?
In personal injury cases, appropriate venues are determined, in nearly every case, by the “residence” of the parties to the case. Exceptions to this rule exist when a government agency is a party to your personal injury case; top-shelf personal injury lawyers will be aware of these rules and will account for them in preparing your personal injury case. In most cases, however, individuals and businesses or corporations will make up the parties to your case. For individuals, “residence” is determined by where their “primary residence” is located (i.e., the home in which they live for the majority of the year). For a business, the concept of “residence” is more malleable; and good personal injury lawyers can craft arguments that a business whose principal executive offices are within one venue but which does business in multiple venues “resides” in any of those venues, depending on which venue your personal injury lawyer thinks will be most beneficial for your case.
The expert personal injury lawyers at my firm have the experience and knowledge to make sure that the proper venue is selected for your case.
WHY IS THE APPLICABLE LAW DIFFERENT DEPENDING ON WHERE I BRING MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
The five venues located within New York City include the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. You must be aware – and must hire a personal injury lawyer who knows – that different appellate courts, or high courts that set the rules for trial courts within each venue, govern each of these counties/venues. Those high courts are known as the “Appellate Division.” There are four total departments of the Appellate Division within New York State; but only two departments that govern the venues located within New York City. The First Department of the Appellate Division sets the rules for personal injury cases in the Bronx and Manhattan; the Second Department of the Appellate Division sets the rules for personal injury cases in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Each of the two relevant Appellate Division courts have different sets of rules, different interpretations of New York State Law, and different political postures and attitudes towards personal injury plaintiffs. When selecting a personal injury law firm, you must pick one that understands this complicated landscape, and who will make sure that your case is venued in the best possible location so that you have the best change of receiving the justice and compensation you deserve.
WHY IS THE VALUE OF A CASE DETERMINED BY THE VENUE IN WHICH IT IS BROUGHT?
The short answer to this question is that jury pools are, historically, more favorable to personal injury plaintiffs in certain venues than in others. The Bronx is considered, by far, to be the most plaintiff-friendly venue. Insurance companies and defense lawyers are much more likely to pay full value for your personal injuries in settlement if you bring a personal injury case in the Bronx than in any other venue throughout New York City.
For this reason, you need personal injury lawyers who have a presence in the Bronx and have experience bringing cases in the Bronx. My law firm stands ready to ensure that you and your family have the best representation and are in the best position to achieve the justice and money that you deserve for your injuries. Call me, Jesse Minc, at (718) 354-8000 to discuss your personal injury case and the venue in which it should be brought.