The law does not require you to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit. However, as the amount in controversy increases, so does the need for professional representation. An experienced lawyer knows how to avoid costly errors and how to maximize the amount you can recover. Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban charges no upfront attorney fees for injury case, so you can consult with one of our attorneys before making any decision about how to pursue your case.
A court’s jurisdiction means two things: its authority to decide a particular type of case (subject matter jurisdiction) and its power to compel a party to answer and appear (personal jurisdiction). You must file your complaint in the proper court.
Since state law governs personal injury and wrongful death cases, most of these go to state court. The exception is when a defendant does not have any attachment to the state and moves the case to federal court. The Virginia state court system has several levels. You must select a trial court from among the following:
Once you have selected the level of the court that has subject matter jurisdiction, you must choose the particular court that can exercise personal jurisdiction. The general district courts are divided into 32 districts; the circuit court is divided into 31 circuits. You must file in the district or circuit where the injury event took place or where the defendant resides.
Once you have found your court, you can get the necessary papers from the clerk. The important considerations at this stage include:
Your complaint also must contain a certain dollar amount of compensation, itemized as separate damages.
Mistakes at this stage can cost you more than the price of filing. Your case against a defendant could be dismissed with prejudice, meaning you can’t refile, and you’ve lost your right to compensation.
When representing a personal injury claim, there is no substitute for experience. At Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, we manage your case efficiently to deliver the best possible outcome. Take advantage of a free consultation with a knowledgeable, local attorney, by calling (888) 351-1038 or contacting our office online.
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