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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Injury Accidents On Tribal Land In South Carolina

Injury Accidents On Tribal Land In South Carolina


When you file a lawsuit, one of the first questions you ask is the question of jurisdiction.  This means figuring out which court has the authority to issue a ruling about your case.  For example, bankruptcy cases are always in federal court.  Divorce cases are in South Carolina court if both spouses live in South Carolina, but the parties sometimes disagree about matters of jurisdiction if the parties have been living in separate states for a long time before filing for divorce.  In probate cases, disagreements over jurisdiction can arise if the decedent maintained residences in more than one state.  In personal injury cases, the question of jurisdiction is usually straightforward.  If the accident occurred in South Carolina, the courts of South Carolina have jurisdiction.  This means that, if you get injured in an accident in South Carolina and file a personal injury lawsuit, you must hire a South Carolina lawyer, not a lawyer in your home state.  Matters of jurisdiction are even more complicated if the accident occurred on land belonging to the one federally recognized and 15 state recognized Native American tribes in South Carolina, since tribal lands are exempt from many state laws.  A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you if you were injured in an accident on tribal land.

Car Accidents on Tribal Land

Jurisdiction in a car accident lawsuit depends on who is responsible for causing the accident.  If the direct cause of the accident was a mistake by the at-fault driver, such as excessive speed or distracted driving, then the case will most likely go through South Carolina courts, especially if the at fault driver is not a member of the tribe on whose land the accident occurred.  Furthermore, the car is registered in South Carolina.  If it is a product liability case involving a car purchased from a South Carolina car dealership, then the courts of South Carolina also have jurisdiction.

Premises Liability Accidents on Tribal Land

In premises liability cases, the defendant is the owner of a business where a preventable accident occurred.  Therefore, the place where the business is located determines the jurisdiction in the case.  In practice, this means that the case will probably be under the jurisdiction of the federal court, even if the owner of the business where the accident happened was not a member of the tribe that controls the land.  In other states, courts have issued rulings granting jurisdiction to the federal courts in premises liability cases arising from injury accidents on tribal land.  If there are complicated questions of jurisdiction in your injury case, your personal injury lawyer will thoroughly and promptly research the jurisdictional issues so that you can file a lawsuit in the appropriate court within the legal deadline.

Let Us Help You Today

The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you figure out the questions of jurisdiction related to your personal injury case.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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