When you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that you believe was the result of another party’s actions or negligence, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. If the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation and compromise, filing a lawsuit may be the next logical step. Where you choose to file your action is an important decision, as the forum you select must have jurisdiction over the parties involved. This was recently called into question in a lawsuit stemming from a headline-grabbing accident from 2014 involving an automobile and interstate bus en route from Atlanta to Chicago.
In October 2014, a double-decker Megabus was traveling on Interstate 65 near Greenwood, Indiana as it made its way to Chicago from Atlanta. A car on the same highway lost control and hit a barrier, causing the car to become disabled on the roadway. The Megabus hit the car, and the driver overcorrected, leading the bus flipping on its side, court documents indicate. The crash injured a number of passengers, 12 of whom filed lawsuits against the bus company alleging driver negligence.
Choosing a Forum
Nine of the related lawsuits were filed by injured victims who reside in Illinois. The other three were filed by passengers from Kentucky, Georgia, and Indiana. The suits were combined into a single lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court. The suit named at least five defendants, including Megabus USA and Coach Leasing, both of which are based in Cook County, as well as the driver who resides in DuPage County. The other two defendants were bus and leasing companies headquartered in New Jersey and Georgia.
The defendants argued that the lawsuit should be moved to Johnson County, Indiana—the county in which the accident occurred. Their claims stated that legal propriety and convenience supported their position. Both the trial court and a subsequent appellate court refused to move the case. The appeals court noted that most of the parties are from Illinois and that most of the damages sought by the plaintiffs—e.g. medical expenses and lost wages—were generated in Illinois. “Illinois has an interest in resolving matters between its residents,” the appellate court stated in its ruling. The appeals court filed its order under an Illinois Supreme Court rule that limits its future use as precedent.
Get Help With Filing Your Lawsuit
If you have been hurt in an accident involving parties from several states, you may have questions about how and where you should begin the legal process of seeking compensation. Contact an experienced Kane County personal injury attorney and get the answers you need. Call Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C. at 630-907-0909 to schedule your free consultation today. We are ready to help you get the compensation you need to put your life back on track.