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General District v. Circuit Court

by Chris Booberg on January 30, 2014

When a case can't be settled with the insurance company, a suit must be filed in Court.  In some cases, the injured person has to choose between filing in General District Court and Circuit Court.  Each Court has advantages which must be considered in light of the facts of the case in order to make the correct decision about where to file.  

For smaller cases, General District Court is sometimes the right choice.  Cases in General District Court go to trial more quickly.  Medical evidence in General District Court can be presented by affidavit which saves the expense of expert witness testimony.  In General District Court, the Plaintiff is limited to recovering $25,000 and the case is decided by a Judge rather than a jury.

In Circuit Court, there is no limit on the amount of damages the Plaintiff can request.  The decision in a Circuit Court case is made by a jury which the Plaintiff helps to select.  The medical evidence in a Circuit Court case often must be presented by testimony of the Plaintiff's treating physicians which can involve significant expense.  A Circuit Court case takes longer to be scheduled for trial.

The majority of personal injury cases are settled prior to filing the case in court.  In cases that have to be filed in Court, the Plaintiff and the lawyer must make numerous decisions about where and how to file the case. 

At BoobergLaw, we work with our clients when making decisions like where to file so that they will understand the process and can be involved in the decisions that are being made.