Is location of the car accident important to settlement value?


There are a few exceptions to the Georgia constitutional venue requirement that lawsuits against the at-fault driver must be brought in the county in which the driver lives. One of those exceptions is when the at-fault driver is a non-resident of Georgia.

For example, we recently settled a case in which the at-fault, or defendant, driver, was a resident of North Carolina, who happened to be travelling through Georgia at the time of the car accident with our client.

In a case like that, the lawsuit may be filed in North Carolina (where the at-fault driver lives), in the county where the crash occurred, or where the injured person lives. Since it is generally not feasible for our clients to litigate in another state, this case presented two options for us.

Our client resided in western Georgia, within a county that is traditionally more conservative. In this instance, “conservative” refers to the fact that juries in that county tend to award lower than average verdicts for injured people. However, the car wreck occurred in Fulton County, Georgia. Fulton, as opposed to other counties in Georgia, is known as a more plaintiff friendly county, meaning that juries there award higher than average verdicts in injury cases.

So, we had the ability to put more pressure on the at-fault driver’s insurance company because we had the option of filing in a more ‘plaintiff friendly’ county. Because of that, the at-fault driver’s insurance offered the full policy limits, and our client was very happy.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, and you need help understanding where and how a lawsuit may be filed, it is important that you call and speak to one of our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers today.