Which New York Courts Hear Personal Injury Lawsuits?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on August 17, 2015

in Buffalo Injury Questions and Answers

Buffalo area residents who suffer personal injury are often concerned about where their case will be heard.

This is especially true when the accident occurred outside of the Buffalo area, and the injured person is worried about having to travel a long distance to court if they pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Most personal injury lawsuits in this state are filed in a New York State Supreme Court.

Many people find New York’s designation of these courts as “supreme” courts confusing because of their familiarity with the U.S. Supreme Court.

This leads them to believe a New York State Supreme Court is one of the highest courts in the state.

Actually, every county in the state has its own supreme court, and there are several state courts with higher authority.

Under New York law, a personal injury lawsuit may be commenced in any county where one of the parties – either a plaintiff or a defendant – lives when the lawsuit is filed.

If none of the parties actually live in the state, the plaintiff may choose a county.

This rule is helpful to people who were injured when traveling in another part of the state because they can still file the lawsuit in a court near where they live.

While most personal cases are heard in a New York State Supreme Court, there are a few exceptions.

For example, certain cases – particularly those involving a non-U.S. citizen – may be moved to a federal court, and claims made against the government of New York State or one of its agencies only may be heard in the Court of Claims.

If you have suffered a personal injury and have any questions about how to proceed, please call us at 716-631-9999.

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