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Summary Judgement

Definition - What does Summary Judgement mean?

A summary judgment is a request by a party in a personal injury lawsuit for the judge to make a ruling.

The summary judgment can be made by the court or the judge after they have reviewed the pleadings, the depositions, the answers to interrogatories, the admissions on file, and the affidavits, and concluded there are no disputed facts, the decision is clear and obvious, and there is no issue to any material fact regarding the case.

Should you file a Summary Judgment Motion?

Summary judgments are a legal tool to avoid unnecessary trials. They also save time and expense.

In some cases, claimants may ask for a summary judgment just to address certain issues or claims about the injury case. For example, if you are injured in a car accident and there is sufficient evidence to prove the defendant is liable for your injuries, the court may make a summary judgment ruling and eliminate the need for you to prove liability at trial. If this occurs, the court will only have to hear evidence to rule on damages.

The summary judgment generally comes after the parties have conducted discovery, and they understand the facts and the evidence of the case.

A motion for summary judgment is filed if one party believes there are no “triable issues of material fact” or that there is “no conflicting evidence about dispositive facts.” This means the trial court, which is a fact finding body, will not need to resolve disputes about any material facts but only apply the law to the undisputed facts.

My attorney’s role

Although a summary judgment should not be made by the court when key facts of the case are disputed, it is important to file your case according to the proper legal procedures.

Personal injury claims which are not filed properly may be granted a motion of summary judgment based on a technicality.

To avoid a summary judgment it is important to talk to an injury lawyer about your personal injury case

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