Will Your Personal Injury Case Be Filed In State Court or Federal Court?

​The vast majority of all lawsuits filed in the United States are filed in state courts.  Federal courts have limited jurisdiction and will only hear certain kinds of cases.  

​Federal courts will handle cases against the federal government and certain other cases which arise under federal law.  

​The most common exception to the general rule that lawsuits are handled in state court is when there exists a diversity of citizenship.  If a citizen of one state files a claim against a citizen of another state, the defendant who is sued may ask the federal court to remove the case from state court into federal court.  Of course, the plaintiff can also file suit directly in federal court if there is a diversity of citizenship.  Even when there is the diversity of citizenship, the amount in controversy must be at least $70,000.00 or the federal court will not hear the suit.  

​Most of the claims against manufacturers of defective drugs are handled in federal court because of the diversity issue.