When it comes to trying your personal injury case in court, you should realize ahead of time that you might be in for a lengthy process. Trials do not proceed smoothly from start to finish; they stop, start, are delayed and postponed, and take some months to finally come to a close. Part of the reason that trials take so long is the filing of various motions by each side. Understanding this aspect of your personal injury trial could come in handy, so read on for a brief overview of two common overall types of motions.
Dispositive and Nondispositive
Keeping in mind that a motion is really just a written statement asking the judge to take action, some motions can make a major impact on the court when it comes to your personal injury trial. One type of motion, the nondispositive motion, seldom changes much as they are mostly concerned with administrative matters. There is one often-used motion that falls into the dispositive bucket, however.
Motions to Dismiss
If you were not aware of this motion beforehand, you might go into panic mode in court when you observe it in action. This motion, posited by the defendants, asking for the judge to make a ruling right away. Keep in mind that this motion can appear at any time, but often will appear almost routinely at the beginning of the trial. These motions to dismiss ask the judge to view the information available so far and to rule on the case or dismiss it. You must, of course, give a reason for such a motion. What follows are several common reasons:
Jurisdiction: While it may seem an obvious error to avoid to some, cases can be brought in the wrong court or jurisdiction. There are two potential jurisdiction issues in personal injury cases:
1. The case was brought in the wrong state or district. Accidents that occur in Georgia cannot be litigated in New Jersey, even if the litigants were from New Jersey. The case will be "thrown out" and must be filed in the correct state.
2. The case was brought in the wrong type of court. There are criminal courts, probate courts, and civil courts, and personal injury cases are the purview of civil courts.
Improper summons: The summons asks participants to appear in court, and they must be letter-perfect and accurate as to names, dates, times and more. Any errors can be cause for dismissals.
Lack of claim: This is a frequently-used motion, and can be quite damaging for the other side. This motion asks the judge to dismiss the case because the defendant is simply not to blame for the plaintiff's injuries. It alleges that someone else entirely is to blame, such as a third party.
To learn more about your personal injury trial, upcoming trial, speak to your personal injury attorney.