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Can a Lawyer Practice Law in Any State?

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Personal Injury Attorney Explains: Can a Lawyer Practice in Any State?

All too many people have had this distressing experience: you head over to Louisiana to soak up some Cajun and Creole culture and sample a beignet or two, only to have your trip interrupted by a car wreck or slip and fall accident that leads to lasting injury. You go back home to recover, then you’re left wondering what to do. Do you hire an injury attorney in your home state, or a personal injury attorney?

If you’re dealing with an out-of-state injury, you might not be able to get away with a quick search for a “personal injury lawyer near me” – this article will break down how to tell if you need a personal injury attorney or if injury lawyers in your home state can handle the case for you.

Can a Lawyer Practice Law in Any State?

If you’ve never been involved in a legal dispute, you probably have a lot of questions about everything from whether lawyers and attorneys are the same thing to how your settlement will be taxed if you win. If you clicked on this article, you’re probably also wondering whether injury lawyers can practice in any state, or if they’re bound to just one.

State bar exam vs. universal bar exam

Where a injury lawyer can practice largely has to do with which type of bar exam they’ve passed:

  • State Bar Exam: Most injury attorneys sit for the State Bar Exam in the state in which they plan to practice law. For example, a personal injury attorney from Louisiana who plans on remaining in state will sit for the Louisiana State Bar Exam.
  • Universal Bar Exam: The Universal Bar Exam, or UBE, is a rigorous exam which allows lawyers to practice law in any state which accepts it. While well over half US states accept the UBE, Louisiana does not.

Occasionally, there are exceptions to the guidelines outlined above, such as when a lawyer is working a federal case or if a lawyer works a case pro hac vice (usually with a local lawyer).

Do You Need to Hire an Out-of-State Accident Attorney?

Every legal case is different, and it’s not always clear whether you can hire a personal injury law firm near you or whether you even need an attorney. When in doubt, a good first step is always to contact a law firm to discuss your situation and get a free consultation – a reputable lawyer will let you know how best to proceed, even if that means hiring a different lawyer in another state.

But generally speaking, the following situations are two of the most common reasons why someone would need to hire an out-of-state lawyer after an accident.

Where to file a lawsuit

The Accident Occurred in Another State

Usually, if you’re involved in a car wreck, slip and fall accident, or other injurious incident that’s someone else’s fault, you’ll need to file a lawsuit in the state where the incident happened. That’s because the state or country where the accident occurred will have jurisdiction over the case, not necessarily the place where you reside.

For example: if you live in Tennessee and get into an accident while in Louisiana, you’ll generally need to hire a personal injury attorney and file your case there.

The Defendant Lives in Another State

If the person or company you’re suing resides in another state, it sometimes makes sense to file a lawsuit in the state where they live rather than where the incident happened. Because states have jurisdiction over their residents, they can oversee judgements even for injuries which occurred elsewhere.

It can be tricky to find out where to file when an accident happens across state lines or with a defendant that lives elsewhere – be sure to consult with a trusted lawyer to understand what your options are, and the pros and cons of each.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Handle Cases All Over Louisiana

Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers in Louisiana handle cases all over the state, so whether your accident occurred while vacationing in Acadiana or during a business trip up in the Crossroads, we can help.

If doing much more than searching online for a “personal injury law firm near me” feels overwhelming, we understand – beginning the process of filing a legal case can be stressful. But it’s crucial to take care of it before you forget important details or the statute of limitations runs out.

Our personal injury lawyers in Louisiana are ready to help you through the process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to discuss your case and get a free consultation.

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