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A few years ago, I was in a pretty serious car accident. During the aftermath, I became really familiar with a lot of different types of lawyers. I worked with personal injury lawyers, insurance lawyers, and many others. Perhaps the most important, though, was the estate planning lawyer. I was really young, and neither my wife or I had thought about starting a will. But the accident kind of scared us into it. What would happen if one of us were to die? Even when still in the hospital, I was working with the lawyer to draw up a will. Now, I have some peace and security about what the future will be like if something should happen to me. And I have a lot of experience working with various types of lawyers! The accident was kind of a blessing in disguise in that way.

Making Motions: What To Know About Personal Injury Moves In Court

Law Blog

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault and you're now on the road toward a personal injury trial, you need to know what is in store. Trials are not smooth and effortless endeavors, they are often interrupted by numerous postponements, hearings, and motions. There are a two commonly used motions that are meant to bring a halt to the trial immediately. If you don't want to be caught off-guard during your personal injury trial, you should know these motions and what they could mean to your trial.

Summary Judgment Motion

Few trials progress without someone entering a motion for a summary judgment. While you can consider this motion to be routine, you should never dismiss the possibility that the judge will agree with the motion and end the trial. The word "summary" in this motion refers to the suggestion in the motion that the judge "summarily" dismiss the lawsuit. Why should the judge dismiss the lawsuit? This motion alleges that the entire purpose of the lawsuit is moot; that the key facts of the case are not in dispute and that there is therefore nothing to be decided upon by continuing the court case. This motion asks the judge to look at certain undisputed facts and make a ruling in the favor of the party bringing the motion (it may be either the defendant or the plaintiff).

To counter this motion, the burden is on the other party to provide evidence that the key facts of the case are in dispute. This motions results in the other party filing a brief with the judge that details the evidence about to be presented at trial that proves that the key facts of the case are in fact, in dispute. If the judge agrees that there are key facts in the case in dispute, the case will continue at trial.

Motion for Default Judgment

This motion is meant to effectively "punish" a defendant for failing to answer to a lawsuit. Lawsuits cannot simply be ignored and doing so could get the case decided in the plaintiff's favor without a trial even occurring. If an entry of default is entered into the record, the judge is permitted to make a ruling in favor of the plaintiff and to determine how much the plaintiff is entitled to receive in personal injury damages. For example, if you filed suit against the General Widget Store for an injury you suffered there and the store (or their lawyers) never responded to the lawsuit, you may be awarded a sum of money by default.

Keeping in mind that the justice system is meant allow those being sued to put up an adequate defense against a suit, the courts may be willing to remove the default if the defense has very good reasons for not responding to the suit. Courts want to litigate cases on the merits of the cases, not on default judgments.

To learn more about these and other motions, speak to a personal injury attorney like Trump & Trump.


16 January 2017