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Where should I file the civil suit? In state or out of state

King Of Prussia, PA |

Accident happened in Pennsylvania in Sep 2012. Settlement was reached on Jan 17th with the individual (Mr.XYZ). But XYZ moved to Chicago somewhere in December so he was in Chicago at the time of our agreement.

The agreement involved depositing multiple checks. I received the checks but they were post dated by 25 days. I agreed to wait, But when the time came to deposit the first one itself he still wants to postpone the dates.

I finally decided to deposit the check as it already passed 6 days on the check date. But to my surprise the bank wouldn't even let me deposit the check. They told me to "Refer to the Maker" of the check.

I am exhausted at this point and would like some advise. Will I be able to file a civil law suit in Pennsylvania or do I have to file it in Chicago

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Attorney answers 6


You should see a lawyer about this. There are many things to address: Did you sign a release agreement? Will the lawsuit be for breach of contract, property damage, or personal injuries? Why did you get paid directly from Defendant, rather than his/her insurance company? If you can sue in Pennsylvania, what counties have venue? Is small claims court an option?

An attorney can only answer these questions after meeting with you and carefully reviewing the facts of the case. Good luck.

Timothy M. Knowles
Attorney at Law
610-584-9400 xt. 103
Warren & McGraw, LLC
920 Lenmar Drive
Blue Bell, PA 19422-2000

Feel free to call or email me to further discuss your case. This answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational and educational purposes only.



Thank you for responding to my query. There was no release agreement signed. The insured didn't have enough coverage. The insurance company had $1118.69 left. I negotiated with the insured for $9000 excluding the payment from his insurance. I did receive the insurance check but haven't deposited the check yet.



The lawsuit would be for breach of our contract. I have email communication with the insured.


Retain a Pennsylvania lawyer to asssit you. I expect that you can file in Pennsylvania. But, you should retain local counsel to give you specific advice. Good luck.


Call your lawyer who got you this settlement to resolve.


I would sit down with your lawyer and discuss all the issues.


You will need to file suit, probably in the state where the accident occurred and then serve the other driver per statute. This will require an attorney. You may want to file a police report regarding the bogus checks.


Pennsylvania will have jurisdiction over this dispute (as would Illinois since that is where the defendant resides). If no written settlement agreement exists and you have not been paid, you should file suit to protect your interests. The fact that the defendant is in Illinois might be to your advantage as it will be difficult for him or her to travel back here to enter a defense. You should consult with an attorney to identify all of your damages (personal injury and property) and to review whatever paperwork was signed in the settlement.

Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.

Crawford Law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Philadelphia Area Office
223 North Monroe Street
Media, Pennsylvania 19063


All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to consult with an attorney, or have any questions concerning this comment, please feel free to contact our offices through any of the above contact sources.

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