What’s the difference between an auto-auto accident and an auto-truck accident? About 75,000 pounds, for starters! Also, truckers are commercial operators subject to interstate regulations, the laws of the state in which the accident happened and in which their trucking company is chartered, which, by the way, might not be your home state or your insurer’s home state, if you’re on vacation.
Beginning to sound a bit complicated? Well, that’s why the Morgan Law Firm is here.
If the amount under consideration (property damage, hospital bills, etc.) is over $75,000 and if no plaintiffs share a home state with any defendants, accidents fall completely under federal jurisdiction, so you can file a suit (if necessary) with a federal court in your state. Federal cases aren’t simple; they can be very time-consuming and costly.
Each of the several States, however, has sovereign power, including jurisdiction over what happens on roads within the state, if the State chooses to exercise sovereignty. That decision is up to a local judge. In other cases, you can file suit in the home of the trucking company; “home” being defined as the state where it’s chartered or where it usually does business.
Each state has specific laws (called “motorist statutes”) to cover these situations. If you have a truck-auto accident in Utah or Idaho, you need local counsel — an attorney licensed in those states, like David L. Morgan.
Paperwork & Camerawork
If the accident claim can’t be settled by negotiation, mediation or arbitration, there will be paperwork for court. Depositions will be taken, and your attorney may have to hire someone in the state of the trucking company headquarters, as well as the driver, who might live anywhere. If your injuries are severe, the company might actually put you under surveillance to see if your claim is legitimate — that brings 4th Amendment protections against unwarranted searches into play.
Civil laws exist to protect both the plaintiff and the defendant. When you have legitimate, documented losses, a smart business will review your claim, verify it and pay it — it’s so much easier and costs so much less. When that doesn’t happen, in a case where everybody is from the same state, and far more so in a multi-jurisdictional case, you need professional help to get through the maze of necessities and possibilities.
Get a free initial consultation from David L. Morgan. We’ll meet with you in your home, hospital room or our offices in Idaho and Utah.
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