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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Can I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer from Another State?

Personal injury cases can be complex, depending on the facts surrounding the case. Fighting a lawsuit can get even more challenging if the lawyer representing the injured victim is from another state.

While there are many reasons why someone might reach out to an out-of-state attorney, some affected parties may have questions about whether it is legally possible.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have a deep understanding of personal injury law, and they have decades of combined experience protecting the rights of injured victims and representing them in court. They can help the affected parties in Nashville, Tennessee, by assessing the facts surrounding their cases and guiding them on their legal options. They can also help answer questions such as what if my personal injury was partially my fault TN?

Why Should Injured Victims Seek Help from an Out-of-state Lawyer?

One of the major reasons why an injured victim may seek help from an out-of-state lawyer is that they may have knowledge of the local state laws and regulations. This can allow them to overcome any legal hurdles and expedite the case, ensuring that the affected party receives swift justice.

An attorney from the state where the accident occurred may also have personal connections with law enforcement authorities, judges in state and federal courts, and other important people. Such resources can set the tone for the case and increase the victim's chances of obtaining compensation.

Can I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer from Another State?

Can I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer from Another State?

Whether it's a business trip or for vacations, people from Tennessee may travel to different parts of the United States. While traveling might sound exciting, an accident due to another's negligence could ruin the victim's plans and lead to financial troubles.

In such situations, the affected party may be wondering whether they can hire a local attorney from their state for legal representation. They might already have an existing attorney-client relationship with them and may want them to provide assistance on their out-of-state case.

Under the jurisdiction laws, injured victims must bring a civil action in the state where the accident happened or where the negligent party resides. 

However, the affected party must understand that while jurisdiction laws may require the injured victim to bring legal action in the negligent person's residing state, it doesn't prevent them from seeking representation from an out-of-state attorney.

How Can an Attorney Provide Legal Representation in Another State?

A personal injury attorney can practice law in another state as long as they are admitted to the bar in the state with jurisdiction.

However, there is another way in which an injured victim with a pre-existing relationship with a lawyer can seek legal representation from them even if they're not licensed to practice in that particular state.

Pro Hac Vice (or "For this Occasion Only")

Under the rules of "pro hac vice," an out-of-state personal injury attorney can work with an in-state lawyer to represent a client in a particular matter. This way, the injured victim receives local expertise while having their rights protected.

An attorney can apply for a pro hac vice admission, and if it's successfully accepted, they may be able to practice law in a foreign state without committing any violations. 

The eligibility requirements may vary from one state to another and may include the following:

  • Confirmation of good standing by a local attorney; and

  • An affirmation by the out-of-state lawyer that they will comply with the state's rules and regulations.

It's important to understand that some courts may not allow the pro hac vice attorney to file papers or appear in court. In such situations, the affected parties must also contact in-state personal injury lawyers for legal representation.


Besides pro hac vice, there is another way an out-of-state attorney can represent an injured victim in another state, and that's commonly referred to as "reciprocity."

While the jurisdiction laws require the affected parties to seek legal representation from an in-state attorney, under the guidelines of reciprocity, out-of-state attorneys may be able to practice law in the state with jurisdiction without taking the state bar.

Those attorneys looking to practice in Tennessee without having to take the state bar exam must meet the following criteria:

  • The out-of-state lawyer has a valid law license with a good standing;

  • Hold a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an ABA-accredited law school; and

  • The out-of-state attorney must've demonstrated good ethical conduct and discipline in their current jurisdiction.

What Are Some Key Considerations That Are Important for Injured Victims?

What Are Some Key Considerations That Are Important for Injured Victims?

While it may be easy for an injured victim to reach out to their local attorney for an out-of-state accident, a lawyer with jurisdiction in the state where the traumatic accident happened can add a lot of value to the case.

However, before hiring an attorney, it's essential to consider the following two things:

The Negligent Party and Minimum Contacts

It may be possible for the injured victim to file a personal injury lawsuit in their residing state even if they suffered injuries in another state. 

The negligent party must have some connection (also known as minimum contact) with the victim's state. It may be in the form of a business relationship, a second home, or a formed contract with the affected party's state.

State or Federal Court

While most personal injury lawsuits are often resolved in state courts, some exceptions may allow the injured victim and their case to be heard in a federal court. These may include the following:

  • The damages exceed $75,000, and the negligent party is from another state;

  • The federal law creates the cause of action; or

  • The injured victim raises a constitutional issue.

An injured victim may be able to pursue their case in federal court in another state. In such situations, the federal law will take precedence over state laws. It's crucial for the affected party to reach out to local personal injury attorneys in Nashville TN licensed in the state where the accident occurred.

The same goes for a criminal case. It's best to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney in the state where the defendant is charged with the offense. They can also list some common causes of burn injuries.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Have Recovered Over a Billion Dollars for Their Clients!

Those seeking out-of-state lawyers in Nashville, Tennessee, for legal representation should call to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They know the local state laws and can build a strong case to increase the victim's chances of recovering maximum compensation!


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