If you’ve recently been in an accident you’ve probably been making searches like:
- Personal injury law near me
- Personal injury law for dummies
- How to file a personal injury lawsuit
While searching for these things in East Alabama and Georgia, you will likely see results from law firms in both Alabama and Georgia. One thing you might notice is that, though there is much similarity in tort law state-to-state, there are some differences.
You may be asking, though, “Why are these laws different?”
The answer is in the name of our country, The United States of America. Our country is a conglomerate of individual states unified under one centralized national government. This type of government is called a federal government.
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We Have a Federal Legal System
The word federal often gets thrown around in the news to talk about something that the government in Washington D.C. has done. However, when describing our legal system “federal” means that the national government has certain rights, state governments have other rights, and local governments have still more.
The Constitution stipulates that all rights not explicitly granted to the national government are given to the states or the people of those states. This is what it looks like to have a federal system. The different levels of government work together to create a functional, equitable system of law and order.
One of the rights given to the states is the right to draft laws concerning personal injury cases and the lawsuits between individuals involved.
So, this is why whenever you cross state borders, the specifics of personal injury law change.
Each state determines how they will deal with personal injury law themselves.
What Does This Mean for Me?
Often those seeking a civil suit for a personal injury case can get lost in the plethora of legal terms that they encounter when starting the process. This idea of a federal legal system is no different.
So, what do you need to know to move forward in the personal injury suit process?
You simply need to know that these laws will be different. Then, you need to find an attorney who knows the differences and is able to handle all of the dirty work for you.
What Should I Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney?
The personal injury attorney that you choose needs to be well-informed on the differences in law between states. He or she must especially know the laws of the surrounding states.
Your attorney should be licensed to practice in both states that you are concerned with.
You may be a resident of East Alabama and get involved in an accident with a Columbus, GA resident in Columbus. If your attorney does not have an adequate understanding of Georgia law, they may not be able to give you the legal counsel that you are paying them for.
An attorney who has a license to practice personal injury law in Alabama and in Georgia will be able to represent you with no problem.
So, when seeking out a personal injury lawyer, make sure to find one who is well versed in the laws of each state in which he or she practices. This will save you much work and headache during an already stressful time. In addition to this, when you find a qualified attorney, make sure that they have a license to practice law in the state that you are suing in.