If you have been injured in a car wreck, you may try to work with the insurance carrier to settle your case out of court. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court, but you may nevertheless find yourself in court if that does not happen. When it comes to litigation, the proceedings are often interrupted by various hearings, continuances, motions, and other delays. Motions, in particular, can be alarming to plaintiffs (you), especially if you don't understand the nature of the motion. Some of these motions can actually put a quick end to your case, so read to learn about a certain type of motion: the dispositive motion to dismiss.
Motion to Dismiss
This motion can cause a lot of anxiety for plaintiffs, but you should understand that motions to dismiss are routinely filed in the first stages of a court case by the other side. This motion essentially asks the judge to take a look at all information about the case that is available and to rule on the case. The defendants are seeking to have the case dismissed due to lack of merit. In other words, they are alleging that you have absolutely no case against them, at least based on the evidence so far.
The brief, which is the form the motion takes in presenting information to the judge, must provide a reason or reasons for the allegation of lack of merit. It should be noted that the motion to dismiss could come at several points in the personal injury process, such as after the deposition during the discovery process or after the trial has begun.
Reasons for the Motion to Dismiss
Jurisdiction: This reason alleges that the suit was brought (filed) in the wrong type of court. There are several different types of courts, and some courts have no jurisdiction (power) to try certain types of cases. This is often due to an administrative error, but it can still cause the case to be "thrown out," thus causing a delay in your compensation.
For example, personal injury cases should be filed in civil court, but if your case accidentally got filed in criminal or probate court, it will come to a quick end. This can also occur if the case should have been filed in a different state altogether. For example, the case should be filed in the state where the accident took place, no matter where the parties lived at the time.
Improper summons: The summons, which can be considered an invitation to appear in court that you (or anybody else) cannot refuse, must be letter perfect. If errors are present, the case can be pitched out.
Lack of claim: This reason for a dispositive motion alleges that the defendants did not cause the harm to the plaintiff, and in fact, something else entirely caused the harm. For example, this motion could put forth the idea that a third party caused the harm, not the defendant.
Talk to your accident attorney for more information about this type of motion and what it could mean for your case.
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