Posted on: 24 July 2017
In a personal injury case, pretrial motions can sometimes help in resolving the case before it even goes to trial. Motions can be filed by either party. If you and your attorney were unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company and a trial is imminent, here is what you need to know about pretrial motions.
Can Your Case Be Tossed by the Court?
One of the most commonly filed pretrial motions in personal injury cases is a motion to dismiss. The motion is typically filed before discovery has occurred. If the judge agrees with the motion, your case could be tossed. Depending on the reason for the dismissal, your chances of recovering damages could be crippled.
There are several reasons that a motion to dismiss could be filed. For instance, the insurance company could claim that there is a lack of jurisdiction. If the accident occurred in a different state and you live in another state and filed there, the insurance company could claim the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case.
A motion to dismiss could also be filed if the insurance company claims it was not properly served or that the deadline to file had passed.
What If the Insurance Company Does Not Respond to the Summons?
After you file a lawsuit against the insurance company, it will be notified by the court of your petition. The notice will allow a certain number of days for the insurance company to respond to the summons. If the insurance company does not respond, a motion for default judgment could be requested.
The motion for default judgment would be a request from you and your attorney to the court asking for a judgment based on the grounds the insurance company did not respond to the court. When motion would prohibit the insurance company from arguing that it is not responsible for paying for the damages. At that point, the only argument that can be made by the company is concerning how much you are entitled to receive.
It is important to note that the motion for default judgment could be set aside by the court. If the insurance company has a compelling reason for not responding, the judge might agree to allow the case to move forward as it naturally would.
There are other pretrial motions that could also be filed by your personal injury attorney and the insurance company. Consult with your attorney to learn which ones could have an impact on your case.Share