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Can I sue a trucking company incorporated in California for an accident in Nevada?

Reno, NV |

NHP didn't cite either of us. It seemed to me that the officers wanted to clear the accident seen as quickly as possible so they didn't do a thorough investigation. The trucking company filed a claim with my insurance co. Soon after, the adverse policy underwriter sent me a letter denying my claim (I didn't file a cross claim yet), denying my claim. I went back to the scene and found picture evidence to prove the trucker was at fault. People keep telling me that commercial transportation companies can be sued in any state because they conduct business over the roadways. Is this true. Also this company is small so I don't think they have a resident agent in Nevada. The reason I ask this is nevada small claims is $7500 limt and where they are from is less.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

If you are suing as a result of a car crash then most states require your lawsuit to be filed in the county where the crash took place, or where the defendant is located. Usually interstate trucking companies can be sued in your local Federal Court, but the amount of damages must exceed $75,000. I would contact a Nevada personal injury attorney to discuss your options.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the quick response. I'm not sure that I have an actual p.i. case. I didn't have any obvious injuries although I had some headaches and minor neck discomfort within a few days. They went away within the week. I also realized that I had a personality change and scrambled thought during that time. Problem is I didn't see a doctor because of expense and appointment availability

Posted

You can sue the trucking company in Nevada small claims court even though it is incorporated in California. You can serve the company via the agent for service of process designated in California. There is jurisdiction over the accident because the accident happened there and because the trucking company was using the roadways there to conduct business.

Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Do you mean agent as in representative located in Nevada? I don't believe there is 1.

S. David Rosenthal Esquire

S. David Rosenthal Esquire

Posted

No, if they are incorporated in California, there has to be an agent designated with the Secretary of State for service of proceess. That's who you serve. Service does not have to take place in Nevada even though the lawsuit is venued there. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much.

Posted

Nevada courts have jurisdiction over this matter because of the "situs" (physical location) of the accident, regardless of where the defendant is from. You can bring the action in the court of the county where the accident occurred and service of process on the corporation will not be a problem.

Be careful in estimating the value of your claim. You should include a lot more than just the property damage, especially if you were injured at all, lost work time, had to change vacation plans, or were otherwise inconvenienced and delayed. If it exceeds $10k, you are in the Second Judicial District Court (state trial court level) for a Washoe County accident, and you need not file in Federal Court for this matter.

The lack of a citation does not presume fault by one driver or the other, so do not let them deter you with such an allegation. I would seriously suggest filing a claim with the trucking company's insurer for any damages you or your vehicle suffered. That puts them on the defensive, instead of just approaching it as though you have already admitted fault and are ready to roll over for them. Also, do not assume that because the company is small they cannot pay a settlement or judgment; they have commercial general liability insurance for this purpose, and you should be making a clearly phrased claim on their policy if you feel their driver was at fault.

Let us know if we can help!

Mr. Williams is licensed to practice law in the state of Nevada. The foregoing response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is, essentially, educational only, and is intended to provide general legal information about the matters presented by the question. Often, the question does not include significant and important facts, dates and other information that, if known, could significantly affect the appropriateness of the response and make it unsuitable. Mr. Williams strongly advises consulting directly with an attorney licensed in your state in order to ensure proper advice and counsel is received.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. Based on the letter I received from the commercial insurer denying my claim is why I'm filing the lawsuit. That letter is my legal permission slip to sue. Luckily in Nevada claims can be divided into multiple parts. In this case property and medical. I'm going to prove my case for property compensation then decide afterwards about a claim for pain and suffering. The reason this whole topic came about was the women at Sparks Justice Court were having reservation about accepting the claim based on the claim not falling within normal parameters of business or residence within Sparks township. Also the lack of a resident agent in Nevada

Posted

Federal and state laws grant and limit courts' jurisdiction -- that is, the power to hear and decide a particular case. To make a legally valid decision, a court must have two types of jurisdiction: personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction rules determine whether a court has power over a particular defendant, whereas subject matter jurisdiction establishes the court's power to hear the kind of case a lawsuit involves. This article describes the ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over a defendant:"general" personal jurisdiction, which permits a state to assert all-encompassing jurisdiction over any and all suits against a defendant—regardless of whether the suit relates to the defendant's contacts with the state—when the defendant has sufficiently significant contacts with the state.general jurisdiction over a corporation is permissible only in a state "in which the corporation is fairly regarded as at home," and indicated that the paradigm is the state of incorporation or principal place of business. "specific" personal jurisdiction, which applies when the suit arises from or relates to the defendant's contacts with the state.specific jurisdiction does not exist over a manufacturer when the distributor has made only a single sale in the state, even if that sale leads to an in-state injury involving the manufacturer's product.
If the person injured is domiciled in California and merely in transit through Nevada and the injured person is insured with a California insurance policy California law may apply to the resolution of the application of insurance policy provisions. This is so even thought the collision and injury occurred in Nevada not California.

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