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A Personal Injury Lawsuit—Part Two

Evidentiary and Dispositive Motions

A Personal Injury Lawsuit Part TwoIn this series, we’re looking at the timeline for a personal injury lawsuit, so that you know what to expect and can work more effectively with counsel.

So, you’ve filed your complaint and the defendants have all answered in a timely manner. Settlement efforts were unsuccessful, so you conducted depositions, obtained copies of all relevant documents, examined any physical evidence and submitted and responded to all interrogatories. There’s still much that needs to be done before you’re ready to go to trial.

It’s important to understand that court dockets are full, trials can be time consuming, and judges have a vested interest in streamlining the process, should a case actually go before a jury. With that objective in mind, the next phase of a personal injury lawsuit involves proceedings in court designed to either eliminate the need for a trial, pare down the issues that need to be addressed at trial, or resolve issues that are best taken care of outside of the hearing of the jury. This is done through the use of two types of motions—dispositive motions and evidentiary motions.

Dispositive Motions

The purpose of a dispositive motion is to either resolve a claim or eliminate the need to resolve an issue. Dispositive motions may be filed by either party. An injured party may contend that, based on all the evidence gathered during the discovery process, the defendant has asserted no valid defense, and the plaintiff should be granted relief without the need for a trial. A defendant, on the other hand, may allege that the injured party has not produced evidence to support one or all of the claims made in the complaint.

Evidentiary Motions

During the discovery process, the rules of evidence are somewhat more lax than they are at trial. Evidence that would be inadmissible at trial—perhaps as opinion or hearsay—may be allowed during a deposition. If there’s a dispute as to the admissibility of any evidence obtained during discovery, those disputes are best resolved outside the earshot of the jury. Accordingly, any evidence objected to during discovery can be reviewed by the court before trial and ruled admissible or inadmissible. If the court concludes that certain evidence is not appropriate and a party introduces it anyway, it can be the basis for contempt of court and a potential mistrial.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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