Venue is an essential but often overlooked part of a lawsuit. In any personal injury case, you must choose where to file your lawsuit—including which county to file in. Depending on your case, there may be only one location where you can file, or you may have your choice of several areas. These are known as the venue or venues for your case.
Venue is related to the concept of jurisdiction, but the two concepts are slightly different. Jurisdiction refers to the type of court that can hear your case, such as the local Municipal Court, the county’s branch of the State Court, or the regional Superior Court. Venue refers to the location that can accept your case. For example, every county in Georgia has its own branch of the State Court, but there are probably only one or two counties that can hear your case.
How Do I Know Which Court Is My Venue In Georgia?
- The county where the accident happened, in any case involving an accident
- The county where the defendant lives
- The county where the defendant conducts their business or has their office if they are a business
An experienced lawyer will know which venues are available to you.
Can I Choose the Venue I Want?
Yes, in many cases, your case could get accepted in several different venues, and you will have the right to choose which venue you file in. However, you should always have the advice of an excellent personal injury lawyer when selecting a venue. This is because different venues are likely to treat your claim very differently, mainly if it proceeds to trial.
Juries in rural counties, for example, tend to award lower amounts than juries in Atlanta or other cities. Other factors could also influence which venue is best for your case. Your lawyer can help choose a venue where you have the strongest chance possible or where you’re likely to receive more money.
It’s Important to Choose the Best Venue for Your Claim
It’s essential to take the time to choose the right venue for your claim:
- Location is important not just for convenience but also to save time and money. Travel expenses can add up when you and your lawyer have to go back and forth to a courthouse.
- Choosing a venue close to home can give you peace of mind.
- Choosing a venue can help you in regard to jury selection for your case.
Don’t overlook this step. There are many benefits you can get by simply choosing the right venue.
When Should I Request a Change of Venue?
Judges will grant a change of venue for several reasons:
- Another venue is closer to witnesses or more convenient for all parties.
- Publicity about your case has already biased potential jurors in the local area.
- A contract between you and the other party stipulates that the case must get heard in a different venue.
In some cases there is only one venue where you can file, but sometimes you can request to have it changed. The other party (the defendant) can request this as well. You do this by filing your lawsuit in the venue available to you and then entering a motion for a change of venue.
Can a Change of Venue Get Denied?
Change of venue is often up to the court’s discretion. If you’re unhappy with your current venue and request for a change, it can get denied. If this is the case, you should get the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to assist you with your case.
Have you been injured? John Foy & Associates offers free initial consultations with Georgia’s most experienced personal injury lawyers. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 today.