Can I Sue an Out-of-State Defendant in a Texas Injury Claim?
It is not uncommon for an individual in Texas to suffer a personal injury due to the negligence or intentional act of out-of-state party. This could occur due to a vehicular accident (car, truck, motorcycle, train, etc.) in Texas caused by an out-of-stater, or by an accident in another state in which you were traveling. In other cases, you might want to bring suit against the employer of a trucker or other vehicle operator who injured you. Other situations include suing an out-of-state manufacturer for injury suffered from a defective product you purchased. There could be any number of such situations in which a Texan will want to sue an out-of-state defendant, and the question then becomes where that personal injury claim can be made.
Where Did the Accident / Injury Occur?
The question of where a Texas resident can sue an out-of-state defendant is called “personal jurisdiction” in the law, and your attorney will take all steps to address this issue, but it is important for Texans to understand that they do have rights to pursue injury claims even against out-of-staters, and this can often take place in a Texas state or federal court.
In addressing this issue, a primary question is asking where the accident and/or injury itself occurred. If you were injured by an out-of-state driver on a Texas road (or you wish to bring suit against the out-of-state employer of a driver that injured you in Texas), you will be able to successfully file your suit in Texas. Furthermore, if you were injured by a product (e.g. a drug, a medical device, an appliance, etc.) delivered to you in Texas by the manufacturer, you will likely be able to bring your suit in Texas.
What is the Defendant’s Relationship With Texas?
Let’s say, however, that you experienced an injury outside of Texas but still want to be able to bring the suit in Texas. The question of personal jurisdiction may get a bit trickier here, but there are still a number of ways in which you can still bring suit here. First, if the defendant regularly visits Texas, it is possible to serve notice of a suit here and thereby establish jurisdiction. Second, if the court finds that the defendant has a substantial relationship with Texas (e.g. regularly does business in Texas), it may find jurisdiction. Furthermore, the defendant may well consent to jurisdiction in Texas.
It is also important to understand that, even if a Texas court does not have jurisdiction, there may be numerous other state or federal court venues in which your attorney can bring suit. Finally, many personal injury claims are settled favorably on a plaintiff’s behavior without ever requiring the plaintiff to step into court. In all cases, speak with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney to assess your best options for financial recovery.
Work With Experienced Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys
The Kelley Law Firm PC in Dallas, TX represents the rights of personal injury victims and family members of those killed wrongfully. We have successfully recovered numerous 7-figure settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, and are passionately committed to obtaining the maximum financial recovery that our clients deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your personal injury or wrongful death matter.